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Lagos bus drivers exploit ban on tricycles, hike fares

* Passengers stranded, plead for review of policy

Isola Moses

The Lagos State Government’s recent the decision to ban commercial tricycle and motorcycle operations on specified restricted routes, bridges, and subsequent plans to commence total enforcement of the 2012 state Traffic Law February 1, 2020, has started showing implications on commuting within the Lagos metropolis.

Reports say that some policemen, beginning Friday, January 31, had started arresting O’Pay bike riders at about 8:30 p.m before the official take-off of the ban the following day.

On Apapa Road, Lagos Island, ConsumerConnect learnt that no ‘Keke Napep’ (tricycle) riders were ready to take the risk as they left their Keke at home to observe the situation of things on Saturday.

Danfo (commercial bus) drivers jack up fares at Oyingbo Bus Stop, as Keke Napep and ‘Okada’ ban takes effect.

It was gathered that Keke Napep, Okada in their hundreds keep off Constain Roundabout where they usually convey passengers travelling to Oju Elegba, Mushin, Bode Thomas and Aguda, just as several passengers got stranded.

For instance, Danfo drivers at Oyingbo and Costain Roundabout hike their fares, as Oju Elegba from the area instead of N50 is now N100.

Fare to Fadeyi has also increased from N100 to N150, while Ikeja from Costain Roundabout price increased from N200 to N300.

As some passengers refused to board available buses, others with pressing tasks had no option but to grudgingly oblige to pay the new fare.

Costain roundabout “Area Boys” that used to extort money from Keke and Okada riders were left idle as they take alcohol to control their frustration, according to reports.

One of the Area Boys, a report noted, said that on a normal day, he stands at the junction by 6.00a.m. and before 9.00a.m., he would have made up to N3, 000 and most time by close of work at night he delivers N9, 000 out of which they will give him N2,000 as take-home money.

At month end, he claims he makes up to N50, 000 out of which he “saves, settle the family, buy alcohol for friends and also settle side chicks”. However, all that is about to change now in view of the latest development on public transportation in the state.

Meanwhile, as the adverse effect of the ban of Okada and tricycle operations in 15 councils, major highways and all bridges across the state, some Lagosians have called for the review of the order banning their operations.

This could be attributed to the way several passengers in areas such as  Agege, Abule Egba, Ogba, Allen Avenue Roundabout, Kudrat Abiola Way, Ikorodu Garage,  Maryland, Awolowo Road, Ikeja, Shitta, Ijesa, Cele Bus stop, Ojuelegba, Mushin,  Okota and Iyana-Isolo were left stranded at bus stops, while some decided walk down to their various destinations.

The Sun also reports that a stranded female commuter said, “the government should do something to reduce the suffering. Government needs to review the law in order to accommodate these transporters in some areas.”

She said the suffering is too much because 70 percent of people around Ogba, Ojodu/Berger, Ojota, and the rest depend solely on Okada and tricycles as their means of transportation.

Edith Ajayi, another commuter, who resides around Ogba and works at Oregun, in Ikeja, said government should consider the plight of the commuters.

Another commuter who identified himself as Mr. Makinde also pleads with the state government to review the order because of its adverse effect on commuters.

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