To sustain the operations of regulated bus services in Lagos State, the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved a flat rate increase by N100 in fares for all Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Standard routes.
With the increase, 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 increase, which will come into effect on Wednesday, 13 July 2022, is aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the BRT and standard route schemes.
The Governor in consenting to the fare increase also approved a proposal for a bailout for the bus operating companies (route franchise operators/concessionaires), to cushion the effect of the harsh operating environment, safeguard private partnership investment, and forestall the demise of formalised bus operations in the state.
Recently, operations of the transport scheme had been hampered due to the rising cost of inputs required for sustainable service offering and the attendant high number of buses out of operation as a result of 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 operation and longer waiting times at bus stations.
Given the economic situation, the government is also providing support for the Bus Operating Companies given the continuous increase in fuel prices. This is to ensure that the increment to the passenger is kept to a minimum.
The fare increase notwithstanding, the government noted that whatever support this would provide to the operators, it would still not cover the cost of fueling, thus likely to put the continued survival of the bus operations on a tight rein.
The Governor also approved the appeal by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) for the conversion of the current diesel buses in operation to the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) and a shift to an economically viable and environmentally friendly mobility energy solution that is cost-efficient and maximizes operations cost such as electric vehicles, hydrogen buses and the development of hybrid energy sources as alternative fueling for the current Bus Reform Initiative (BRI) buses.
According to the request, “These measures are indispensable in the current global economic and environmental reality to ensure the sustainability of the BRI operation.”