*Over 15 commuters hospitalised, 10 buses vandalised
*LAGBUS staff down tool
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
At least over 15 commuters, including drivers of Primero Bus Services, operator of Bus Raid Transit, BRT, have been hospitalised while 12 BRT buses vandalised, following attack in the early hours of Monday, in Lagos, when miscreants and commuters protested along Ikorodu Road against the ban of LAGBUS Asset Management, operator of the red buses from plying the BRT, corridor along the axis.
The state Government, through Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Anofiu Elegushi, at a media briefing in Alausa, Ikeja, at the weekend, announced the ban of LAGBUS buses, from plying Ikorodu Bus Rapid Transit, BRT corridor, saying plans have been concluded to introduce Intelligent Traffic System along BRT corridor.
Elegushi said the move was part of efforts of the present administration led by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to boost commuters experience along the corridor.
He explained that from Monday, November 7, all LAGBUS buses would no longer be allowed to utilize the BRT corridor to load or drop passengers. But they can use the road like other private vehicles.
The Acting Commissioner lamented that the present arrangement has constrained the capacity of the BRT bus services to cater for the people.
His words “The restriction does not extend to charter staff buses run by LAGBUS; does not preclude access to depot along Ikorodu road and express services are allowed with only few designated stops.
“All routes from Ikorodu hinterland will now terminate at TOS Benson bus stop after which there will be no loading of passengers.
“However, the operations of LAGBUS buses have been moved to other 14 routes identified by the Lagos State Metropolitan Transport Master plan,” Elegushi added.
He assured residents that in the aftermath of this, the state government has concluded arrangement to allocate new routes to the operator of LAGBUS franchise.
According to him, “The state government is committed to providing appropriate facilities that would provide the support to make their operations more efficient and effective.”
Apparently, reacting to the development yesterday, drivers and officials that sell tickets to commuters of the LABUS, embarked on an indefinite strike, even as miscreants and other irate commuters took the road barring BRT buses from operation as well.
The development led to the non-operation of commercial buses along Ikorodu Road forcing commuters to trek long distances while, motorists were stuck in the attendant terrible traffic gridlock.
In the process, no fewer than 15 passengers including drivers of BRT buses were wounded in the rampage and about 12 buses were allegedly vandalised.
A source at Primero headquarters in Ikorodu, who preferred anonymity, said the injured are currently receiving treatment at various hospitals, while the vandalised buses have been brought to the BRT Yard.
When contacted, Director, Public Affairs of Lagos Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, Mr Kolawole Ojelabi, confirmed the report, saying “The situation has been brought under control as policemen have restored normalcy.”
According to Ojelabi, further actions by the state government would be communicated in due course.