Primero Transport Services Ltd., operators of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Lagos State, says it is impossible to break-even with the new transport guidelines mandating high-capacity buses to carry only 20 commuters to forestall the spread of COVID-19.
The Managing Director of the firm, Mr Fola Tinubu, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.
Tinubu, however, said that no sacrifice was too big to make in the interest of the Nigerian society in the face of the global pandemic.
“It is not possible for us to break-even with 20 passengers. We are just running social services; it is not possible at all.
“We know it will be a tough time for the firm but it’s for everybody’s safety,” the BRT boss said.
He said that each BRT bus had 70 passengers capacity comprising 42 sitting and 28 standing.
According to him, at this time, life comes first before any profit.
NAN reports that Tinubu had said that the company would not issue short-distance tickets from Monday, saying short-distance commuters that wished to use the services must be ready to pay for the longest distance tickets on their routes.
The BRT boss explained that the firm had scrapped N100 and N150 tickets for short distances in the meantime, asking commuters to be ready to pay for the N200, N250 or 300 tickets, depending on their routes.
According to him, all passengers must wear masks and sanitise their hands before they will be allowed to board the buses.
NAN also reports that the state government in its new public transport directives, limited passengers in the 70-passenger capacity buses to 20, while the 21st person on board would be the driver.
The new transport guidelines also directed 14-seater commercial bus operators to load only 8 passengers to ensure social distancing in public transportation to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
All bus operators and commuters were also directed to use face masks and sanitise or wash their hands with soap and water before and after each trip.