Following passengers’ outcry over the reversal of the 50 per cent rebate on the fares of Lagos State-regulated Bus Rapid Transit and rail transport, the Lagos State Government, on Monday, announced the implementation of 25 per cent discount effective Tuesday (today), November 7, 2023.
Passengers on Monday had lamented the hike in transport fares as the state government ended the 50 per cent palliative on transportation in the state.
The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority had announced at the weekend plans to end the 50 per cent rebate in the state-regulated transport system announced by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as a palliative measure to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal on residents of the state.
The 50 per cent discount on state-owned/regulated transport systems came into effect on August 2, 2023.
However, LAMATA, in a statement, announced that the 50 per cent rebate has now been discontinued and all fares have now been reversed to what they were pre-August 2.
“The 50% rebate in transport fare in the regulated transport system in Lagos ends on Sunday,” LAMATA announced, adding, “The public is hereby informed that from Monday, 6th November 2023, transport fare will return to the pre-2nd August 2023 rate.”
Our correspondent, who visited the Ikorodu BRT Terminal, however, observed that the new fares being charged on passengers’ Cowry Cards were higher than the pre-palliative rates.
“It removed N500 from my card,” a passenger going to Maryland exclaimed in shock as a LAMATA ground officer maintained that the new fare to Maryland from Ikorodu is N500 as against the N400 pre-August 2 rate.
Passengers going to Yaba, Tafawa Balewa Square, among others, whose fare was N600 before the palliative, now pay N700 post-palliative.
Our correspondent observed that some passengers walked away from the terminal following the development, while others, who eventually boarded the buses, lamented that such a hike was wrongly timed.
“Is this the right time to do this?” a passenger, who gave his name as Ade, said.
“We have an insensitive government. How can they increase transport fare through the back door despite the hardship in the land?” another passenger, who did not disclose her name, said.
In a telephone chat with The (THE TRACK MAGAZINE) over the development, the Managing Director of LAMATA, Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, said, “I will have a conversation with my team and get back to you. I think Mr Governor is also looking at it, and we will put out a press statement soon.”
LAMATA, in a statement released late Monday after the telephone conversation with The (THE TRACK MAGAZINE) announced that the governor has directed the implementation of 25 per cent discount.
“Responding to calls for the reinstatement of the 50% rebate on fare for regulated bus and rail transport, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has directed the implementation of 25 per cent discount beginning Tuesday, 7th November 2023.
“Governor Sanwo-Olu had on 2nd August 2023 announced a 50% discount in fare on regulated transport bus and rail transport which ended on Sunday.
“Following appeals to the Governor, he has extended the passenger fare reduction by 25% across the regulated bus and rail transport services until another review is announced.
“Within the three months period of the rebate, the pump price of diesel jumped from N867 in August to N1,300 in November,” LAMATA said.