SWITZERLAND, JULY 21 – Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved an average of 46 per cent increase on bus services on the routes operated by the Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL).
A statement by the Assistant Director, Corporate Communication, at the Lagos Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LAMATA), Mr. Kolawole Ojelabi, said the increase takes effect from August 1.
He said Governor Sanwo-Olu assented to the bus fare review following a plea by the bus operating company on the need to sustain its operation because of the negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on public bus transportation.
The governor also approved LBSL’s request to increase the number of passengers per bus from 20 to 42 in observance of updated COVID-19 protocol, as directed by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the operation of public transport, while ensuring other measures are in place.
Sanwo-Olu granted LBSL buses permission to access dedicated bus lanes in Lagos State, thus making their journey times predictable on corridors with bus dedicated lanes.
“Very unfair. Why can’t Sanwo-Olu bear the cost on behalf of Lagosians with all the IGR the state is getting?” a regular bus user commented on an online forum.
LBSL had argued that conveying not more than 20 passengers per bus, per trip, had resulted in only 14 per cent utilisation of the bus load factor, leading to 72 per cent drop in revenue, while the running costs remained fairly the same.
It said the fare increase would improve LBSL’s operational efficiency and place the bus operating company on the path to sustainability in the medium to long term.