By Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Lagos State Government at the weekend banned LAGBUS (red buses) from plying the Ikorodu Road corridor with effect from today.
The state government said the decision was to introduce Intelligent Traffic System along the BRT corridor, and that all other franchises, apart from the BRT (blue buses) had to relocate from the corridor.
The acting Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Olarenwaju Elegushi, disclosed the decision a news conference he addressed alongside the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mr. Femi Dabiri and his LAGBUS Asset Management Limited, Mr. Idowu Oguntona among others.
At the conference, the acting commissioner disclosed that with effect from today, all LAGBUS buses “will no longer utilise the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor to load, drop and travel.
Elegushi stated that the LAGBUS buses could only provide end to end bus services using the expressway and service lanes along the Ikorodu road stretch.
He said the state government was determined to enhance and boost commuters’ experience along the corridor, adding that the present arrangement had constrained the capacity of the BRT bus services to cater for the people.
He further stated that the restriction did not extend to charter staff buses run by LAGBUS and did not preclude access to depot along Ikorodu road and that express services were 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,” he said.
He disclosed that the operations of LAGBUS buses had been moved to other 14 routes identified by the Lagos State Metropolitan Transport Master plan, adding that one other route would take off before the end of the year.
The commissioner stressed that the new plan was in the overall interest of Lagosians, while also announcing the ban on sales of tickets on boarded buses, describing it as the harbinger of unstructured service.
He disclosed that the information as to the new routes had earlier been conveyed to stakeholders at a parley, saying that the state government had concluded arrangement to allocate new routes to the operators of LAGBUS franchise.
Elegushi also noted that the government was committed to providing appropriate facilities that would provide the support to make their operations more efficient and effective.
He urged Lagosians to see this gesture as an attempt to serving them better and therefore be willing to support the initiative.