The Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL), operator of Marcopolo high-capacity buses, has announced that it has secured the approval of the state government to increase its fares and also have the right to use Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) dedicated lane.
This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer of LBSL, Mr Idowu Oguntona, in a statement on Monday, July 20, 2020, that was signed by Mr Afolabi Olawale, the Public Affairs Officer of the company.
Oguntona while revealing that the approvals would take effect from August 1, he said that the firm had been given approval by the state government to effect an average of 46% increase in the transportation fare of LBSL.
The LBSL boss said: “The approval to use the BRT corridor by the governor is to further give the commuting public a better experience on Lagos roads.
” The increase in the number of passengers and fare become necessary in order to enable the company sustain its operations following the negative impacts 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 strict observance of updated COVID-19 safety protocol as directed by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the operation of public transport, whilst ensuring all other measures are in place,” he said.
Oguntona pointed out that the government has also granted approval for the operators of the buses to transport passengers to its full capacity. This is part of the reforms that are presently ongoing in the LBSL.
He said that this must be done with strict adherence to necessary safety protocols.
The managing director disclosed that the COVID-19 guidelines, which restricted the firm to convey not more than 20 passengers per bus, had affected the running of the buses.
He said this development led to 72% drop in revenue of the company while running costs remained fairly stable.
He also said that the approval came at a critical time when the commuters needed it most, thus making bus journey times predictable on corridors with bus dedicated lanes.
He said that the decision of the governor would further reposition the company for enhanced performance, assuring all the stakeholders of the company of an improved operational experience going forward.
Oguntona revealed that the fare increase would improve LBSL’s operational efficiency and place the company on the path of sustainability in the long term.
According to him, the permission granted by the governor now gives access to LBSL buses to use the dedicated BRT corridor from Berger through Ikorodu Road to Leventis, TBS, and Obalende and also from Oshodi through Ikorodu Road to Leventis, Inner- Marina, TBS and Obalende among several other routes.
Lagos Bus Services limited which is regarded as the new face of smart city transport, is part of the bus reform initiative of the Lagos State government to help in alleviating transportation problems in the state.