Lagos commuters lament increased fares caused by fuel scarcity, flood and traffic

Traders, workers and other commuters in different parts of Lagos are lamenting the increasing cost of transportation to various destinations across the state.

The soaring cost is amid the fuel scarcity in many parts of Lagos which has continued to cause a spike in commercial bus fares.

In addition to this, recent flood caused by incessant downpours in many parts of the city has led to traffic gridlocks. As a result, drivers of commercial vehicles have increased the transportation cost in recent days leaving commuters to cough out two or more times the usual fares.

What commuters are saying

Speaking on the increasing cost, David Olaniyi, an accountant who lives around Ajegunle but works in Ikeja said that he is now having to spend close to double of the usual amount he spends on transportation, to and from his work place.

  • He said, “Transportation cost has become increasingly high in the past few days and we are having to spend more than usual.”

He explained how he now budgets two times of the usual amount he spends on transport to avoid embarrassment.

  • Nothing concerns Lagos conductor and how much you earn as salary. They are opportunists, always taking advantage of situations. I use to spend N1,100 prior to the scarcity but now I ensure to budget like double the amount when setting out these days to avoid being embarrassed,” Olaniyi.

Patricia Charles, who stays around Festac and works with a law firm on the Island said her transportation cost has increased over time.

  • For now, the cost of transportation is relative as it depends on the route despite the fuel scarcity in place. That said, there’s marginal adjustment in the fares by around 25% from what it was before now.
  • “I cannot point a blame on these drivers but on the government that is driving back and forth on the decision to adjust the pump price of PMS while commuters bear the brunt in the short run and then count it normal to spend such amount.
  • “Imagine if you spend N1,500 daily on transport fares to and fro and now witness an average of 25% increment. You know what that translates into when you check it out for the monthly and annual expenditure of the individual,” Charles said.

Traffic caused by floods doubles commuters’ woes

In addition to the fuel scarcity, the flood which has rocked many parts of Lagos has also contributed to the increasing cost. Whenever there’s a heavy downpour, parts of the roads become blocked and inaccessible to motorists. This situation further creates a traffic jam forcing commercial drivers to want to make up for the time lost to traffic by charging passengers more.

  • For instance, from Cele Bus stop to Mile 2 on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway used to be N100 during rush hour and N50 for some lucky pessengers. However, transporters have increased the fare to N150 and N200 and sometimes, they don’t even get to their destination before forcing the passengers to alight.
  • In his view, Alade Adesoji, a commercial driver who plies the route said, We now have to stay long hours in queues to get fuel and sometimes, the little fuel we are able to get, we still burn it in traffic which has worsened due to the floods everywhere.
  • “People are quick to blame transporter for increasing cost but no one cares to consider the circumstances warranting the hike.”

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