This Lagos State BRT is can be likened to a modern-day molue bus. To all those of us that have had a molue experience those days in Oshodi area of Lagos State. Please help feel my pain.
On this particular day, I woke up so late and I decided to use the BRT as my medium of transportation to work. I mean, I try my best to get to work as early as 7:45am. (Now, that’s a lie).
Normally, I am always chauffeur driven to work in a UBER Car, not that I have the unlimited fund to travel to Victoria Island every day from the mainland, just that, sometimes, you just gotta live the life and treat yourself to a wonderful time whenever you can.
Ok, I didn’t tell you that along the line I got broke and couldn’t afford UBER anymore until whenever my bank account smiles at me again, then I think of UBER. So I mainly use the popular yellow bus popularly known as “Danfo” here in Lagos. This one is less expensive although has its disadvantages.
Don’t get me wrong, if I am to make a choice between UBER taxi and Danfo, of course, I will definitely jump at the former cos it’s conducive and highly classy and it has two main types. So you have the choice to drive in the state-of-the-art fleet of cars all at your beck and call. But its just that, *scratches head*, you gotta be boxed up! If you get my point.
So this day, all dressed up, I decked in my smart casual outfit (I am known for this), as I don’t really dig official dressing. I moved out of my apartment and did the necessary ritual of checking if I switched off the main power supply cable, doors locked and windows alike.
I got to the BRT bus stop and got my bus ticket which takes me to CMS area of Lagos state. You know, when the BRT idea was pioneered, the whole essence for you to move from one place to another in the most comfortable manner. I anticipated this, but I guess I expected the unimaginable.
As the bus stopped, the ticket official took the purchased ticket from me and directed me in a way to enter an already full bus. Lord, with my backpack and laptop bag on my hand? Where was I supposed to sit? I began to question myself as I made way and entered this particular “BRT Bus”.
Goodness, I think I made the wrongest of choices! I thought I was supposed to have my own seat to myself. It’s a whole new ball game entirely. Even if I were to make a choice to stand, I couldn’t, because the bus was full to the brim and in this situation very uncomfortable. Who cares, I need to get to work as early as I could, I hopped in.
Hell on earth, passengers all rubbed their sweat on each other, people stepped on each other’s foot, bags everywhere, I was beginning to lose my breath. Oh, yes, I belonged to the calibre of people that had to stand all the way till there was someone getting off and you can have the person’s sitting position. This whole experience took me to the days of the MOLUE.
When a thousand and one people will squeeze each other into a square-like bus. No space to talk or breathe, the next passenger standing or sitting close to you can literally smell you skin’s scent. That was how close people get cramped up in a molue bus. And now this? We were like sardines fishes in a can. And allow me burst your bubble, both the people standing and sitting paid the same fare.
Just when a passenger stood up to get off the bus at a particular stop, I made my way to sit. And this point, another passenger almost beat me to it as he blocked the way. The “agidi” spirit in me shoved his hand away and grabbed the seat’s handle and sat. (Agidi is a Yoruba word for being stubborn)
“See this oga Oh”, “I be your mate”, “you no get respect oh”
I never even flinched a bit to reply the man as he was frustrated he didn’t get the seat before me. I felt his pain but was he expecting me to stand and keep counting bus stops in Lagos? He was mistaken. Few hours, we got to our destination and I got off the bus.
While I did, I decided to take a breather, then I heard shouts of annoyed and frustrated passengers as I was, shouting.. ‘You no go comot for road, wetin dey do this one sef”
I just laughed and I said to myself, I wouldn’t repeat this again, Never! Until the Lagos State sort this out.
The traffic-free route is very commendable as well as the affordable ticket fees.
But, there are certain things I feel the government can do to salvage the already “deteriorated BRT service”. There should be a laid down rule as regards the amount of people that can be in a bus. Asides the fact that it is very unhealthy, it is very uncomfortable and God forbids an emergency situation, the chances of survival are very slim.
Also. some of these buses are already looking rickety and rusty. The look almost imbalanced on the road at times and as such put fear in people like me. I wouldn’t want to patronize such. Maybe such buses should be called off the highway, repaired or direly revamped for the safety of Lagosians.
Now that we have a President-elect in Muhammadu Buhari, I am sure Lagos State can get much more better than it is.
Hope you all had an amazing Good Friday? See you next week Friday. Happy Easter in advance. Eko O ni Baje O!