There are strong indications that the Lagos State Government may have barred the mass transit buses that came from the Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SURE) of the federal government from plying parts of Lagos roads.
The mass transit buses are not also allowed to use the new bus stops and lanes built for the Lagos State Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) programme.
According to the operators of the SURE programme buses in Lagos, they are not permitted to load and discharge passengers at the various BRT bus stops and terminals. ‘They told us not to use their bus stops and if possible not to ply some roads in Lagos because these facilities are dedicated to BRT buses,” they said.
LEADERSHIP gathered that they the BRT operators do not want to compete with the mass transit buses because their fares are cheaper and the management of these mass transit buses is better organized than the BRT buses. For instance a trip from Egbeda to Iyanu Oba cost N70.00 by the mass transit buses but cost N100.00 for the same trip on BRT buses. ‘Lagos state Government borrowed money from the World Bank to build these facilities and we have to pay for this loan. So we do not want these people from Abuja to deprive us of the passengers on this route’ one BRT operator said pleading anonymous.
Although efforts to reach the Lagos state Commissioner for Transportation Comrade Kayode Opiefa met a brick wall, as he was said to be actively involved in the 2012 Lagos carnival. A top official of the Lagos state government who spoke on condition of anonymity, since he is still in service of the state government told our correspondent that the Mass transit buses procured by Federal Government under its Subsidy Reinvestment Programme, (SURE-P ) is a Federal Government arrangement not state government arrangement.