Many years ago, our ancestors travelled miles on foot in search of food, shelter and greener pastures. They walked great distances and sometimes endured unpleasant weather conditions.
Through technology, public transportation got a unique facelift. The roads we once treaded are now driven on, commuting is easier and conveying of goods, faster. We’ve become lazy too, many of us can’t walk four blocks without gasping for breath.
Transportation Network Services like the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) move thousands of people around Lagos on a daily basis. Many Lagosians are acquainted with the system and travel regularly on them.
The Mega-city implements the special-lane in order to make transportation within the state seamless (I discussed this at length sometime ago), popular routes include the Ikorodu road axis, CMS/Marina axis, Tafewa Balewa Square axis, Yaba axis etc.
Bus tickets cost from N150 to N250, it can be less or more than that sometimes. To get a BRT to anywhere in Lagos, take an Okada, Keke Napep, Taxi, Bus or walk to the station. Once there, you can choose to get a ticket or buy a card if you’ll be a frequent commuter.
The BRTs initiative would be the best options as they drive in a loop around popular bus stops. Before delving into another topic because I’m not here to discuss the buses, lanes, depot or fathom suggestions (been there, done that!).
I boarded BRTs on my way to work everyday for 6 months during an internship programme so presumably, I know stuff. In the meantime, I’ll tell you all you ought to know about the Lagos state Bus Rapid Transit.
If you’re new to BRTs, the first thing you should know is it’s an organised transport network that involves commuters queuing.
Queue up, join the line and wait your turn, there’s a queue for those that want to sit or stand (it’s the same fee). If you’re running late, you can join the standing queue.
Fun Fact: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) commenced as a transportation intervention during the administration of His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2008 to bridge the gaps, it currently conveys an average of 150,000 commuters daily.
Buses arrive at intervals and I think there’s an app that tells you how far the next one is (I’ll put more research into this). You can spiral all the way up and down the bus station while waiting but know your place on the queue.
#2. Be Orderly.
The network is very methodical so you need to be tidy, peaceful and well behaved. Everyone’s here because they have some place to be, don’t skip the queue.
Listen to instructions from workers on duty and report any complications or shortcomings to them.
Also, from personal experience, I don’t like when those standing intrude my space so bear it in mind that you’re not inconveniencing anyone.
I like to sit close to the driver on the seats that face each other. The rear seats can be uncomfortable whenever the bus hit bumps or potholes, I usually avoid them.
Fun Fact: Asides Nigeria, Bus Rapid Transit is implemented in countries all over the world. *identify in the comment section if it runs in yours.
#3. Buy Tickets First.
Some commuters make the common mistake of queuing before getting their tickets. This means that when the bus arrives you’ll leave the queue to purchase it which is unnecessary.
There are times bus tickets are sold on the queue but whenever they’re not, search for ticketers to issue yours.
Apart from private companies like Uber, Oga Taxi and Taxify (Bolt), BRTs are one of the best ways to navigate Lagos. You can catch a glimpse of iconic spots around the city because of routes.
Keep in mind that the bus might stop for more passengers so make sure you don’t lose your bus ticket, you need to show it to bus conductors.
#4. Respect Priority Citizens.
Priority Citizens include seniors, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with motor disabilities and students. Sometimes, they get a discounted fare or don’t pay at all.
Be patient with them, you definitely don’t want to be the irrational man at the bus station challenging elders or pregnant women.
Remain calm, there should be enough seats for everyone and if it doesn’t get to your turn, it’s for a good cause, the next bus should be there in 15 minutes or more.
#5. Click the Red Button to Stop.
If you’ll be navigating Lasgidi in the BRT, you don’t need to scream at the driver when you reach your stop or say “owa“. All of that can be done with a button.
The buttons are red, when clicked they make a sound that informs the driver you’ll be alighting soon. Keep your hands glued to them when approaching your bus stop at all times.
Again, don’t be a Johnny anymore, be alert and don’t fall asleep immediately the air con hits. I doubt anybody can afford the chance of missing their stop, this mistake is totally avoidable.
If you’ve read up to this point, I hope you’re well informed on the Bus Rapid Transit system (if not, read more). Also, don’t forget to share with your friends and family.
I’ll like to chip this in, it’s the season of corn and mangoes across most tropical climates and I found a recipe online, I haven’t tried it yet but I think it should be amazing. It’s called fresh corn and mango salad.
Now, over to you!
Have you ever commuted in Lagos BRTs and how was your experience?
Let me know in the comments below.
Keep on travelling and stay safe.