Third Mainland Bridge
To beat the tortuous traffic snarl experienced in virtually all parts of Lagos State on Monday due to the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge, commuters yesterday thronged the different bus stops of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as an alternative transport system.
The Third Mainland Bridge was partially closed on Sunday for repairs which would last for five months.
Many commuters who explained their choice for BRT said they had no option going by the way they were stranded in traffic on Monday. They also said the sudden hike in fares of commercial buses influenced their choice.
THISDAY checks revealed that with the partial closure of the bridge, the number of commuters that take the BRT alternative tripled in size, probably the largest number since its establishment in However, the management who were not prepared at the sheer size of commuters was seemingly helpless as the queue tripled in minutes, creating nuisance for pedestrians who were walking on the sidewalks.
A member of staff who refused to mention his name said their buses were stuck on the way due to the build-up of traffic on the Island routes. He said as much as they would want to help commuters, the choice is out of their hands.
Speaking to THISDAY about her experience along the Ikorodu Expressway (Lagos Island bound), acommuter, Mrs. Uche Philips, said she was shocked upon getting to Ketu as the number of passengers waiting for the BRT was unbelievable.
She said: “I have plied this route for the past five years and I don’t think I have ever seen the sheer number of people at the BRT bus stop. The situation was so terrible because although we were sold tickets, we had to wait under the sun for a bus to come out.
“Ordinarily, the queue for buses is orderly but yesterday, people often jumped their lines to enter an approaching bus. No doubt, the repair of the bridge is a good development but the government should put palliative measures in place.”
For another commuter, Comfort Godswill, the queue at the BRT park opposite the Mile 12 Market tripled times its usual number hence causing a traffic snarl on the road linking the market to Ajelogo in Ketu.
She said: “The commuters on queue had little or no space for standing and the line had to extend to the road. To beat much of the traffic, people endured the long queue.”
According to her, asides the option of the BRT which has its own route mapped out for it, it also is the cheapest means of transportation to the Island compared to commercial buses, motorcycles and cabs.
She said: “The ticket sellers had a field day yesterday as the tickets were rushed up despite the fact that no bus was in sight.”
For Maxwell Asoqwo, another commuter, the arbitrary hike in prices of commercial buses is a challenge the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has to put an embargo on. According to him, the drivers had inflated the prices of their fares to the detriment of commuters.
He said: “As much as we understand the problem the drivers are facing in terms of driving through the terrible traffic, we would still want them to have a human face in charging money for fares. They should also be made to understand that we are also victims