Exactly one week after President Muhammadu Buhari, unveiled 820 buses acquired by the Lagos State government under its Bus Reform Initiative (BRI), outgoing governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday ordered the roll out of the buses on five routes to offer free services to residents on Workers’ Day.
Ambode said the high capacity buses would redefine public transportation and make the state globally competitive.
The free bus services transport service were available on Berger to Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Berger to Oshodi, Oshodi to TBS, Ikeja to Alausa and Ikeja to Oshodi to commemorate the Workers’ Days, after which normal service is to start on May 2, 2019.
Speaking at the Ikeja Bus Terminal, one of the terminals constructed as part of the BRI, an official of the Lagos Bus Services Limited, the operator of the buses, Timi Olajide said it was a good thing that the buses have been finally launched for the use of the people.
He said out of the 5,000 buses planned for the initiative, the government was launching the scheme with 820 high and medium capacity buses, adding that aside the intelligent transport system component of the initiative which will aid Lagosians to plan their journeys, comfort and safety of the people have also been factored into the whole process.
“In each of the buses, we have six emergency exits and First Aid Box, while every seat has a dedicated USB port for charging of phones, free Wi-fi, television and CCTV cameras which are linked to our control centre to monitor everything going on in the buses, among other features.
“We have also taken the issue of people with disabilities specially and there are seats reserved for them in the buses,” Olajide said.
At the Oshodi Transport Interchange, a cross section of Lagos residents who enjoyed the free service, lauded the state government for the initiative and the infrastructure provided to support the transport reforms.
A resident, Adewusi Oluwatobi Emmanuel said: “I am very happy to enter this bus today because it is a thing of joy that something like this can happen in Nigeria. I am happy that I can enter a beautiful bus with free Wi-Fi, free USB port, free air-conditioning and so on.
“With this, I know that this country is going to greater heights. One thing I believe we should do is to work together, love ourselves and before we know it, Nigeria will be one of the best countries in the world.”