The Lagos State government is currently changing the faces of its bus terminals in the state. Rather than the usual method of conductors shouting and giving directions to commuters, the state is introducing high-tech terminals at major bus stops. OKI SAMSON reports
The face of public transport in Lagos megacity is set to assume a new shape with the introduction of state-of-the-art, luxurious bus terminals at Tafawa Balewa Square and other locations in the state.
This is in line with the vision of Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who is trying to change the face of transport, where he doesn’t want the public to stand in the sun or in the rain to catch a bus to their destination. He has introduced the covering of the terminals.
New Telegraph was at the stakeholders’ meeting held at the new TBS terminal. The governor was represented by Acting Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Anofiu Elegushi. He stated that the reason for the parley was to demand some responsibility from stakeholders, especially the transport unions.
He said that the government has delivered as promised, but expects the transporters to see the project as theirs, and to help in the area of maintenance and security. “We want everybody to come together with us and maintain this terminal so that there will be justification for what we have spent here,” he said.
The governor also announced plans by his administration to construct ultramodern bus terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Anthony and Maryland.
He said: “We are working on other terminals like Oyingbo and Yaba terminals for which the drawings are almost ready. We are also working on the VIS garden at Anthony; we are turning it to a bus terminal. We are converting the popular Mobil and Oando filling stations at Maryland bus-stop on Ikorodu road to bus terminal as part of strategies to ease transportation challenges in the state.”
The new TBS terminal will take in line the LAGBUS, the LAMATA buses, current yellow buses, taxi cabs, and tricycles, and they all have designated lanes.
The terminal boasts of a control room which contains a powerhouse and other features, and facility manager, who will run the terminal. The terminal will be properly lit 24/7, cleanliness of the environment assured, environmental and traffic laws are on ground to guarantee safety.
Apart from the police, the facility also has 360o CCTV cameras that can move around as far as 150m to promote security.
It also comes with shops which will be available for those who want to trade in order to prevent street trading or hawking.
On the proposed ban of yellow buses popularly called ‘Danfo’, the Commissioner pointed out that what the government is doing is to re-fleet the yellow buses with new ones. He said: “Most of them are no longer roadworthy. They are rickety and many of them have been operating for 20 years, and are not convenient for passengers. The new buses will have air conditioners, CCTV cameras, and charging points for phones.
He continued: “They will still be the drivers but the essence is to get out the rickety ones and bring in new ones. We will train and retrain them.” He, however, noted that the government was still working on the financial model that will be used to transfer the new buses to the operators.
Meanwhile, one of the Taxi drivers, Mr. Wasiu Ayinla, commended the state government on the project and assured it that, the taxi operators would corporate and support the government to achieve the megacity goal. On his part, Mr. Tunde Ayoka, a Keke Marwa rider pleaded with the Commissioner to consider them in their plan, especially in the design of the New Terminal, so that, they can have a portion called theirs in the terminal for their transport business.
Seni Deji, Corporate Affairs Manager of Quattro Alchemy said that, her company was ready to work with all stakeholders to preserve and maintain the standard of the terminal. She pleaded with the transporters to see the terminal as their own and be partners in progress.
The new development has been greeted with applauses and appreciation of the populace. Mr. Jude Edem remarked: “It is great improvement. This is up to international standard and no one can say he/she won’t like this terminal. Good security measure should be put in place to curb the activities of hoodlums. Maintenance also matters a lot.”
Simbiat Olajumoke added: “Transportation is improving a lot in this state and I hope they will maintain the standard because it will be less stressful and comfortable for commuters.” On his part, Daniel Okonopoh, a student indicated that the use of signage at the new terminal instead of the old system in which conductors have to shout to call passengers is a welcome idea for a megacity like Lagos.
He said: “It will make commuters to trace the buses heading to their respective destinations easily.” Sunday Nwibo, a trader, however, feared that though the new terminal is a very good idea, he won’t be able to sell his wares.
He stated that: “it is already inscribed on the terminal poles that no buying and selling is not allowed. I will have no other option than to go elsewhere to hawk my goods.”