Fashola Flags Off New 50 BFS Bus Service To Ply Ikotun Igando-Iyana Ipaja
Aug 18, 2009 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday launched a fleet of 50 ultra modern high capacity buses under the State Bus Franchise System that will ply the Iyana Ipaja- Ikotun-Igando to Maryland route, imploring the operators to understand that the whole continent is looking at them as role models.
Governor who spoke at the Ikeja bus stop terminal of the LAMATA buses declared: ”I hope you understand that you are pioneers today in what is easily the biggest bus franchise of the African continent. The whole continent is looking at you”
He added that the success of the scheme will depend largely on how well and how efficiently they carry out their assignment, and implored them to always remember that every time they sit behind the wheel, the lives of the passengers are entrusted in their hands.
“We expect you to be models of proper road behaviours, vehicular management and road traffic compliant as models for people of this State”
Governor Fashola also said despite the fact that the service is a government promoted scheme, law enforcement agents like LASTMA and others would always do their job fairly but firmly to ensure that every one stays within the ambit of the law.
Governor Fashola explained that the scheme is a response to the request of the people for the deployment of additional BRT buses, reminding that BRT buses require very reliable infrastructures to work smoothly.
He said the State Government is working in so many areas to provide roads and bus shelters that would protect the people from weather, saying with time there would be more of the buses in operation across the state.
Governor Fashola promised to commence the total rebuilding of the Iyana Ipaja road which has outlived its usefulness in phases, saying the two contractors that will handle the first phase will move to site immediately after the rains.
The Governor added that with the 50 buses which have been deployed to the route from Maryland-Iyana Ipaja- Igando, travel time would be saved from within 35 to 40 minutes over a distance of about 40 kilometres.
He also said the efficiency would also help to raise the standard of life of the people of the area.
He said many people might not realize it but that with an improved and effective transportation system, the government has in the last two years put more money in the people’s pocket because when travel time is reduced, the people will burn less fuel.
The Governor thanked all the dutiful and law abiding citizens of the state who have continued to pay their taxes promptly and implored others to also do same promptly.
According to him, “when you pay promptly you relief us of the cost and pain of coming to enforce and collect taxes and that also makes more money available to spend”.
The Governor also told the gathering that it is their right to ask, saying: “When we ask for this job, we got the opportunity only because you said so, but as you continue to ask, we will continue to respond in multiplicity of ways, by responding where we can, by coming to explain to you where we cannot immediately respond and explaining to you what we would do and when we would do it”.
Governor Fashola while underscoring the importance of transportation described it as the corner stone of man’s civilization, saying without it man almost cannot do anything and also represents a useful measure of the quality and standard of life of any people.
The Governor said the latest initiative represents one of the multi dimensional and multi modal solutions to the challenges of transportation in Lagos which he promised before assumption of office.
He explained that this is being achieved by building and expanding new roads, opening new bus routes and making old roads serve their original purposes as it has been done with the Agege Motor Road.
While speaking at the event, the Managing Director of Lagos Area Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA), Dr Dayo Mobereola said the BRT is a success story globally and the Bus Franchise System would be a feeder service to the existing BRT bus service.
He said the programme started with a trial run during which 1.2 million passengers were conveyed at the rate of 20, 000 per day, adding that when fully operational it can convey 150, 000 passengers per day .
He said the service would also provide jobs to over 500 people who would be employed as pilots, cabin members, tickets sellers to run the 50 buses that will start the service.
Also speaking, the Representative of the President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Dr John Olaoye expressed the appreciation of the union to the state Government for providing relief to the citizenry.
Also speaking, the President of the IgbaTitun City Bus Cooperative Thrift and Credit Society, Elder Sesan Oladimeji pledged the commitment of the society to the sustenance of the service and also pleaded with Governor Fashola to assist in repairing the Ikotun- Iyana- Ipaja road, a request which the Governor had acceded to in a much better form-the rebuilding of the road.
In his goodwill message, a member of the State House of Assembly from Alimosho, Hon Onibiyo Adelabu appreciated the gesture of the Governor in providing the bus service to service Alimosho which is the largest single local government in the state.
The Governor later cut the tape to officially flag off the service and took a ride in one of the new buses with dignitaries like the Commissioner for Transportation, Professor Bamidele Badejo and Special Adviser on Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa.