In pursuit of its resolve to ease travel within the metropolis, the Lagos State government in conjunction with LAGBUS Asset Management Limited, one of the operators of the Bus Rapid Transport, on Tuesday launched 100 air-conditioned, WIFI Internet-enabled buses.
The new buses, which are called Metro Bus, and are expected to ply the Sango-Oshodi, Obalende- Ikorodu, and Island –Epe routes, are on the roads.
The buses are expected to be increased to 1800 servicing 47 routes within the metropolis and are aimed to provide comfort and safety as well as reduce time spent commuting.
LAGBUS has also introduced innovations such as the ability of commuters to check the arrival time of the bus by sending sms to a specialised number.
“There would be security camera on board to ensure safety of passengers. 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”, said Niyi Oguntoyinbo, the managing Director of Metro Bus.
The 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, the state Governor, Babatunde Fashola, said the provision of the buses is 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, the bus shelters to maintain and manage them while they ran their buses but that environment at the time they were borrowing money at One Dollar at 118 Naira and interest rate at 10 per cent has changed completely,” he said.
“They agreed and bought the first set of buses. They took loans, paid off the loans, recapitalized but again the environment in which they invested then has changed substantially.”
The buses are a welcome development as it would help ease pressure on the overused and mostly rickety BRT buses.