Thursday, 7 January 2016
Low patronage forces Railway Corporation to reduce afternoon fare
late last year, allows the payment of N300 for N750 per trip on its afternoon service.
An official of the Lagos Railway District Management (RDM), Mr Akin Osinowo, told NAN on Wednesday in Lagos that it would, however, charge the normal N750 per trip for the morning and evening services.
Osinowo said that the reduction is called “off-peak period’’ which is only for afternoon passengers.
“The reduction was made to enable other passengers to also enjoy the DMU’s services,’’ Osinowo said.
NAN, however, learnt that the reduction was necessitated by the low patronage of the services from Ijoko in Ogun to Ido and Apapa in Lagos.
NAN reports that the afternoon trip after the fare reduction was not regular and timely.
The DMU was introduced on June 10, 2014, amid protest from passengers due to high fare of N750 per trip and which also affected the regular services fare from N150 to N230 per trip.
Each of the two DMUs has three long coaches and each coach accommodates over 60 passengers but operated almost empty, leaving the management to run the services at huge loss.
Mrs Moyosore Apampa, an insurance broker, who usually joins the DMU at Agbado Station, told NAN that the management really amused her with the introduction of the DMU.
“The DMU is purely for underground rail system. It did not fit into our surface railway system and it is also expensive.
“Most times, the DMU is run almost empty because it cost N750 per passenger per trip, so, it is a colossal waste to Nigeria.
“Besides being expensive, the DMU is for a country that operates underground rail system and not Nigeria with surface system.
“In several advanced countries I have travelled to, DMUs are basically underground,’’ Apanpa said.
Mr Abdulrahman Hassan, a passenger at Agege, Lagos, noted that DMU trains, for instance, have no toilet facilities because it is for underground system.
“This is because stations in underground rail system are not porous like the surface stations in Nigeria.
“Every station in an underground rail system is provided with all necessary facilities, including toilets, eateries, banks, shopping complex, recreation centres and what have you.
“A passenger can get down from a train in an underground rail system at many stations to make use of any of the provided facilities.
“This is because passengers no longer need to buy tickets again after getting down from a train so long as they remain underground.
“In surface station, your ticket expires after getting down from a train,’’ Hassan said.
According to him, train stations in Nigeria still lacked required facilities to cope with DMU trains.