Yellow Buses Ban: “Yellow Fever” Grips Lagosian

AKAMANU  JENNIFER

One of Nigeria’s or Lagos symbolic identity is the yellow bus which is popularly called “Danfo Bus”, unarguably, it is the most popular mode of road transportation in Lagos  and mostly used by  the middle class and lower class, however, it’s looking like the fairy tale of yellow buses on Lagos road is coming to an end.

It is no more news that the drive for a mega city by the Lagos state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has picked the yellow buses as one of the elements to yank off Lagos road. The governor said he does not see the “danfo buses” featuring in the planned mega city project for Lagos state.

According to the State Government press release, Ambode said: when I wake up and see okadas, and all kinds of tricycles, I wonder if thoroughly we are a mega city. ‘’

Meanwhile, the news of Mr Ambode’s plan to banish the sprawling buses by the end of this year was gritted with mixed reactions, as some citizens feel he might be depriving the middle and the lower class some form of livelihood coupled with the current economic situation of the economy, while some feel it will be of positive impact and the move will stimulate growth and safety in Lagos.

In reaction to Ambode’s statement, some residents and commercial drivers expressed fears that the state government would not be able to provide an effective alternative system in view of the population of lagos, while others believe in the governor’s words as a welcome development.

In an interview with a commercial driver who plies Baruwa axis, Providence Goodluck, he lamented the effects of the ban, he said, “this is what I and many others use as a means of livelihood, a source of my daily bread, what I use to train my family, not all can afford the proposed ‘’city bus’’ which the governor claim will be at an affordable price. The bus am using presently is a second hand one, if an average man can’t afford a used bus at an affordable price, will he go for the city bus ?. If he is pushing through with his plan, he will not help the present economic recession going on in the country.”

A banker, Ukaonu Daniel added that Ambode ‘s plan won’t work, “danfo buses are more reliable and efficient than waiting and depending on BRT or the soon to come city buses with challenging and devastating queues. Ambode will never afford to make provision for millions of the city bus at an affordable price for the average man riding lagos state road every day. There is every possibility that the common man will be exposed to more economy hardship.”

According to an Advertising practitioner, Asiwaju murphy, “I think it a good idea because he is taking a gigantic step on road network, and as such a would be mega city like lagos don’t need danfo bus to ply the road and also the road will be visible even at day and night. Free flow of LAG buses no parking on road by danfo buses looking for pasengers to convey, advanced nation don’t use danfo bus as means of transportation, we have red cab, uber taxi and so on.”

The governor of Lagos state have always made known his plans to phase out the popular Danfo buses from the streets of Lagos in order to change the outlook of the megacity, governor’s directive  to change the state and making an impact during his tenure as the state governor, most citizens

One of the reasons the Governor emphasised was to create a more efficient, well-structured and world-class mass transport system that will boost the movement of people within the city.

He reiterated that keeping yellow buses on the road will muddle up the arrangement and functionality of the mass-transport system that would be launched in the state and as such does not feature in his plans for Lagos state.

Ambode elaborated that Danfo transport system operating in Lagos does not befit the megacity and is totally unacceptable.

In the quest by Premier’s correspondent to gather the thoughts of Nigerians towards the ban, some pedestrians expressed hanker that government needs to come up with policies that won’t affect the average man plying the road for his daily bread.

Most pedestrians who made their stance known during a chat with the Premier News said , Megacity or no megacity, there is no point in mimicking other country if we are not able to fix corruption that has enveloped the country for a long time now, the Governor has no plans in making life meaningful for low class indigenes.

The Lagos state government has unveiled new modern buses it wants to use to replace and phase out danfo and molues in the state, which is expected to be cheaper and durable and the government advised danfo bus owners to key into the project now before it is too late, meanwhile reports from media firms attributed that prices of BRT will increase from 20-50 percent to various destinations.

In a chat with Alexander Godswill, a commercial driver, who ply Berger axis said’’ If the Governor executes his plan, there is certainty that the number of criminals will increase in the State that want to turn into a mega city. I mean the average class can afford a brand or second hand city bus from our amazing government, there are other things the governor can invest in, like job creation for graduates who went to gain more knowledge of their field, road construction, and many others.”

According to Mr Wale Amoo, “it is welcome development to scrap the yellow buses. If you look at the fares of the yellow buses, it’s a bit on the high side compared to the price of BRT buses; I think if the Lagos state government can provide a sustainable alternative, then the yellow buses should be scrapped.

 

Speaking further with a civil servant , Christopher Charles, added that ‘ This won’t work, as for me it impossible, what does he expect from the drivers and conductors to do, this is not something new even the  last governor also made the same statement but to no avail, So I don’t think it will come to pass.

Another resident who pleaded anonymity said, ‘what Lagos State governor is trying to do now in this current recession is really outrageous, though there is need for reformation in transportation system and now is not the time for this.

Meanwhile, some residents said , it is a good development if properly used, it is a welcome development considering many lives that have been lost due to the recklessness of most illiterate danfo drivers on Lagos State road and as such many of them do not understand what traffic  rules and sign is meant for .

The commissioner for transportation, Dr. Dayo Mobereola said the scheme would see to the introduction of higher capacity buses that would have 30 seats as opposed to 14/18 seats, while the buses would be Eco – friendly, air-conditioned, comfortable, support for maintenance and backed by appropriate workshop which creates jobs

Mobereola said with the introduction of the new mode of transportation, danfo buses would be displaced economically as Lagosians would be left to choose between very cheaper means of transportation and expensive danfos.

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