Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has given his approval for a hike in fares paid by commuters who patronize the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles. Some of the buses are operated by the Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL) company. According to Kolawole Ojelabi, who is the Assistant Director, Corporate Communication at the Lagos Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LAMATA), the new price regime for mass transit in the nation’s commercial capital and most populous city, will take effect from August 1, 2020. LBSL has been complaining of running costs and operating at a loss since the federal and state governments imposed measures aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Commercial buses were asked to carry just 60% of their capacity as the Lagos State government began easing restrictions in June.
Sanwo-Olu gave the nod for the latest increment following a passionate appeal by the bus operating company. Ojelabi said LBSL had argued that conveying no more than 20 passengers per bus on each trip had resulted in only 14 percent utilization of the busload factor. The company said the percentage of the bus utilization had led to a 72 percent dip in revenues while running costs remained the same. The LAMATA official said the bus operators were granted approval to increase passengers from 20 to 24. Ojelabi added that the fare increase will improve LBSL’s operational efficiency and place the bus operating company on the path to sustainability and profitability in the medium to long term.