By ADEJUWON OSUNNUYI
Several commuters were stranded accross Lagos on Monday as staff of LAGBUS Asset Limited and other franchised companies operating the red buses protested against the Lagos State Government’s ban on them from plying the Ikorodu corridor.
Many commuters who got to various bus stops in the morning to board the red buses on their way to their various offices were stranded as they discovered that the buses were not anywhere in sight.
The DailyBells Nigeria gathered that in order to vent their anger on government’s decision to bar them from plying the Ikorodu road route, the LAGBUS staff decided to stage a protest as they withdrew their buses from the roads.
It was learnt that while the protest lasted, the LAGBUS staff blocked the Ikorodu road expressway thus preventing the blues buses(BRT) from working as 20 of them were vandalised.
It would be recalled that the state government had on Friday issued a statement banning theLAGBUS from plying the Ikorodu Road corridor with effect from today.
According to the state government, it decided to relocate Lagbus and other fanchises from Ikorodu Road corridor to other routes ahead of its plans to introduce Intelligent Traffic System along the BRT corridor.
Announcing this over the weekend, the Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi stated that with effect from Monday, 7 th November, 2016 all LAGBUS buses will no longer utilize the BRT corridor to load, drop and travel.
Henceforth, he stated, the LAGBUS buses can only provide end to end bus services using the Expressway and service lanes along the Ikorodu Road stretch.
However, drivers and ticketers of LAGBUS took to the highway at Majidun to protest the ban on their vehicles from plying the dedicated BRT lanes across the state.
The protesters were seen displaying leaves in front of the State depot for LAMATA Blue BRT buses Terminal at Majidun in Ikorodu.
The development caused heavy gridlock from Majidun to Benson bus stop.
Several commuters complained of the hardship they were made to go through because of the withdrawal of the buses from the route.
The drivers and the ticketers with leaves in their hands vowed to trek from Ikorodu to the State House at Alausa to press home their demand.
Managing Director, Primero Transport Services, Fola Tinubu said the BRT were working and that it was LAGBUS staff that had embarked on strike because they were banned from plying the route.
According to him, the protesters had damaged 20 BRT buses to express their grievances.
Residents of Ikorodu who also took to the streets to express their grievances called on the Management of Lagos Metropolitan Transportation Authority, LAMATA, to release more buses to Ikorodu axis of the State as commuters were stranded at various bus stops.
According to them, the need for more buses became imperative to address the suffering people experience daily in an attempt to of board buses to their respective places of work.
Aside the government-owed Lagbus buses, there are currently ten franchisees operating a total of 238 buses operating on 17 routes under the Route Franchise scheme in Lagos state and 23 newly approved franchisees by the Lagos State Executive Council.
They include Adonis Authentic Global Link Limited which operates two routes which are Ikorodu to CMS and Odogunyan to Ketu-Ojota interchange.
Fab-Rem Project International Limited operating three routes which include Ajah to CMS, Ajah to Obalende and Ajah to Oshodi.
Lagos Integrated Transport Cooperative Society operating the Abesan to Mile 2 route.
Megacity Transport Limited operating the Sango Toll gate to Mushin (Moshalashi) route.
Mutual Model Transport Limited operating two routes which are Oshodi to CMS and Oshodi to Ikotun.
Nationwide Unity Transport Limited also operating two routes namely Ikorodu to Oshodi and Oshodi to CMS.
NURTW Mass Transit Company operating two routes; Oshodi (Express) to Berger (Kirikiri junction) and Yaba to Idumota route.
Safex Kayway Limited operating two routes namely Iju Ishaga- Pen Cinema to Oshodi and Iyana Ipaja to Ojodu Berger.
Transmodal Nigeria Limited operating the Agbara to Tin Can route.
Greenline Bus Company operating the CMS to Ajah route.
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