BRT fare goes up by N100 on diesel prices

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor, approved on Thursday a ₦100 increase in fares for all Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and standard routes.

In a statement released on Thursday, Kolawole Ojelabi, assistant director, corporate communication, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), explained this and stated that the increase would go into effect on July 13 in order to maintain the operation of regulated bus services in Lagos State.

Ojelabi said that the fare increase was to keep the BRT and standard route schemes running amid the rising diesel prices as well as increasing number of buses out of operation due to a lack of spare parts.

“For instance, the exponential increase in the pump price of diesel from N187 to N830/litre between August 2020 and June 2022, had greatly affected the optimal performance of the bus operating companies leading to the withdrawal of buses from the operation and longer waiting time at bus stations,” Ojelabi said.

Confidence MacHarry, an analyst at SBM Intelligence stated that the increase is as a result of the rising cost in energy price which is hitting government revenue hard as even telecom operators reported rising operating costs for the 2021 business year.

A bus ride from Ikorodu – TBS will now cost N600 from N500, while Berger to Ajah is now N700, up from N600.

Oshodi to Abule Egba will cost N450 from N350 and Abule-Egba-CMS-Obalende will attract a fare of N600.

“The class of people who use the BRT services will be the most affected. Of course, the hike looks small on paper and for the market people, they pay more than that daily in various taxes, but it will lead to a further dwindling of disposable income,” MacHarry said.

Ojelabi said that the governor, in consenting to the fare increase, also approved a proposal for a bailout for the bus operating companies.

“The governor is consenting to the fare increase also approved a proposal for a bailout for the bus operating companies in order to cushion the effect of the harsh operating environment and safeguard private partnership investment and forestall the demise of formalised bus operations in the state. Ojelabi added.

The BRT is a global system that employs dedicated lanes to deliver fast, comfortable and cost-effective bus service.

The 22-kilometre radial route that connects Mile 12 and Lagos Island serves as the first phase of Lagos BRT, which began operations on March 17, 2008.

According to the World Bank, the BRT runs a 16-hour operation, transporting an average of 200,000 passengers per day.

The BRT regime in Lagos brought mass transit price competition. BRT bus fares were 30 percent less than the average. That is, from N100 to the N150 charged by danfos.

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BRT also introduced a reduction by 40 percent in the journey time and cut the average waiting time by 35 percent.

Under the Sanwo-Olu administration, 550 extra mass transit buses were introduced in 2020, along with an e-ticketing system.

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