Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola has launched 100 air-conditioned WIFI internet-enabled buses in the country’s commercial capital, with the new buses set to help ease the transit of commuters within and around the metropolis. The milestone was achieved in conjunction with LAGBUS Asset Management Limited, one of the operators of the popular Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) transit buses already in operation within the state.
Commuters who travel the the Sango-Oshodi, Obalende-Ikorodu, and Island –Epe routes can now heave a huge sigh of relief as the new buses called “Metro Buses” are expected to ply those routes. Also, commuters get to enjoy innovations by the bus company such the mobile-enabled ability to check the arrival times of the buses through sending sms to a specialised number.
A plan to increase the buses to 1,800 plying 47 routes within the metropolis is also in the works.
Metro Bus Managing Director, Niyi Oguntoyinbo revealed that there would be security cameras aboard the buses to ensure safety of passengers. Mr. Oguntoyinbo said, “The live feeds from the cameras will be made available to security agencies to be able to track any mishap. Customers can also use WIFI on the buses as well as enjoy videos and music on the go.” These new developments would undoubtedly make public transportation easier, safer, faster, convenient and more enjoyable.
The new buses are expected to provide 1,500 direct jobs and 5,000 other jobs for agents selling the pre-loaded cards.
Speaking at the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority Yard, Oshodi, Governor Babatunde Fashola, said the provision of the buses was in line with the multimodal transport system, which include road, rail and water, driven by the private sector.
“Government did not own the BRT buses; it was private sector that owned them. Our job was to build the roads and the bus shelters and to maintain and manage them while they ran their buses. But that environment at the time when they were borrowing money at One Dollar to 118 Naira and when interest rate was at 10 per cent has changed completely. They agreed and bought the first set of buses. They took loans, paid off the loans, re-capitalized. But again, the environment in which they invested then has changed substantially.”