• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

New BRT buses coming in soon, says Lagos commissioner

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New buses to strengthen the operations of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme in Lagos are expected to arrive the state not long from now, Kayode Opeifa, the commissioner for transportation, has said.

There has been growing concern by Nigerians about the fate of the BRT scheme, whether it will remain in operation, as its fleet has been depleting owing to non availability of spare parts.

It was gathered that many of the buses have broken down, and are now parked at an open space which serves as a garage/workshop for the BRT operations.

BusinessDay’s findings had revealed that from about 220 buses in the operation of the scheme which is run by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and regulated by the Lagos Area Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA), over 80 are currently out of order and already taken out of the system. This has resulted in long wait by commuters on the BRT routes in the state, as the current number of buses in operation is inadequate to lift the growing number of passengers.

But responding to question bordering on this, at a news conference in Ikeja, weekend, Opeifa said he was aware of plans to re-fleet the BRT, assuring that new buses were on their way, to strengthen operation.

He added that the state government, through the Ministry of Transportation, was also in discussion with the operators to sanitise the operation by retraining and recertification of the drivers, who would be made to go through the Lagos Driver’s Institute in line with the provisions of the new Lagos road traffic law.

Meanwhile, the state has reaffirmed the ban of tricycle popularly called ‘Keke Marwa’ from all major roads in the state, saying, “It is meant to protect the lives and property of the residents of the state.”

The government also vowed to impound any disused and abandoned vehicles across the state, explaining that “4,632 vehicles were currently abandoned on over 9,100 roads in the state”.

Opeifa said that the state government had held several meetings with the unions on the development, adding that “they have agreed to stay away from these roads.”

 

JOSHUA BASSEY