Posted by News Express | 11 July 2015 | 3,373 times
Some train commuters on Friday in Lagos urged the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to slash the N750 fare being charged by its newly acquired air-conditioned Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) mass transit to N300.
The commuters, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), noted that the one-way N750 fare on its shuttle services was too high.
They said the fare had discouraged many low income and middle level workers from patronising the train.
NAN reports that the DMUs which were inaugurated on June 10, 2014, are designed for 40 percent seating, 60 percent standing under the corporation’s Mass Transit Train Services (MTTS) which runs from Ijoko in Ogun to Ido and Apapa in Lagos.
The NRC has a two-year maintenance agreement with the manufacturer of the DMUs -- China Southern Railways (CSR), Nanjing Puzhen Company Limited and Kintech Nigeria Ltd.
One of the two air-conditioned train was, however, vandalised on the day of the inauguration by some people which led to the closure of Itoki Station. Some suspected vandals were arrested and prosecuted.
A commuter, Mr John Odion, a banker, who shuttles between Agbado and Oshodi daily, told NAN he could not afford the daily fare of N1, 500 to ride in the DMUs.
``For now, I take a ride in the locomotive train which costs me only N460 for return trips daily.
``But if the N750 fare is slashed to N300 or N400, I will be able to use the air-conditioned train,’’ he said.
Another passenger, Kamaldeen Okpara, a Christian cleric, observed that the DMUs were virtually empty every morning while commuting passengers from Ijoko in Ogun to Lagos.
``I believe the fare has discouraged many people including me from using the DMUs.
``We appeal to the NRC management and the Federal Ministry of Transport to consider a review of the fare from N750 to N300 per trip.
``After all it is the same quantity of diesel that it will consume to transport few passengers or transport full capacity,’’ he also told NAN.
Mrs Abibat Ololajulo, an insurance broker, who patronises the DMUs, said many passengers on the Ijoko-Lagos route should be encouraged to join the DMUs.
``It is quite expensive considering the national monthly minimum wage of N18, 000 being paid government workers.
``Most times the DMUs are almost empty both in the morning and evening; I think this is not good enough.
``In several advanced countries that I have visited the DMUs are usually underground trains with all basic facilities including toilet and restaurant provided at the underground stations,’’ she said.
``When it started, I used to join the DMUs at Agbado, and they were operating strictly according to time schedules.
``But today, both DMUs and the locomotives operate haphazardly, causing many of us to resume work late,’’ Ololajulo said.
Contacted, the corporation’s Lagos District Public Relations Officer, Mr Ademuyiwa Adekanbi, told NAN that the partonage of the DMUs had improved.
``We now carry between 800 and 900 people daily unlike before when we carried only 400 passengers.’’
Adekanbi, however, declined comment on the number of passengers the DMUs should carry per trip and how much was generated daily. (NAN)
Photo shows: Train
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