…Okays conversion of diesel to CNG for buses

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved a flat rate increase by N100 in bus fares for all Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, and Standard routes as part of measures to sustain operations.

The increase, which is scheduled to commence on Wednesday, 13 July 2022, was said to aim at ensuring sustainability of the BRT and standard route schemes.

Assistant Director, Corporate Communication, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, Kolawole Ojelabi, who announced this yesterday, explained that the operations of the transport scheme, in recent times had been hampered due to rising cost of inputs required for sustainable service offering and the attendant high number of buses out of operation as a result of lack of spare parts.

“For instance, the exponential increase in the pump price of diesel from N187 to N830/litre between August 2020 and June, 2022, had greatly affected optimal performance of the bus operating companies leading to the withdrawal of buses from operation and longer waiting time at bus stations.

“The Governor in consenting to the fare increase also approved a proposal for a bail out for the bus operating companies in other to cushion the effect of the harsh operating environment and safeguard private partnership investment and forestall the demise of formalized bus operations in the state.

“In view of the economic situation, the government is also providing support for the Bus Operating Companies in view of the continuous increase in fuel price. This is to ensure that the increase to the passenger is kept to a minimum,” Ojelabi stated.

The fare increase notwithstanding, government noted that whatever support this would provide to the operators, it would still not cover the cost of fueling, thus likely to put the continued survival of the bus operations on a tight rein.

Diesel to CNG

Ojelabi added that the Governor also approved the request by LAMATA for the conversion of the current diesel buses in operation to the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) and a shift to different economically viable and environmentally friendly mobility energy solution that are cost efficient and maximize operations cost such as Electric vehicles, hydrogen buses and the development of hybrid energy sources as alternative fueling for the current Bus Reform Initiative, BRT, buses.

According to the request, “These measures are indispensable in the current global economic and environmental reality to ensure the sustainability of the BRI operation.”

New Rates

When the new rates finally commence, a bus ride from Ikorodu – TBS will cost N600 from N500, while Berger to Ajah is now N700, up from N600. Oshodi to Abule Egba will cost N450 from N350 and Abule-Egba-CMS-Obalende will attract a fare of N600.

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