- Buses Are Alternatives in Okada-Restricted Routes
- Injects 100 High, Medium-Capacity Buses for Standard Routes
- FLM Scheme Comes With Life Insurance for Passengers, Drivers
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, unveiled a new transport scheme that offers residents a better alternative to commercial motorcycles who got a last chance to behave or be banned.
Besides, those who drive against the traffic repeatedly will go to jail for three years.
The governor launched 500 units of First and Last Mile (FLM) buses, which will be deployed to communities as alternative means of transportation in addressing the security threat constituted by commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada.
The FLM vehicles, assembled locally, are mini-passenger buses (between 7- and 11-seater), which will operate on 286 community routes.
Besides, the governor inaugurated brand-new 100 high-and medium-capacity buses into the fleet of Lagos Bus Service Limited (LBSL) to replace vehicles burnt at BRT stations during the wave of violence that marred the EndSARS protests, last October.
Sanwo-Olu said the mini buses would address Okada-related crises that had generated widespread concern on safety among residents. Besides, they will offer services which the high-capacity buses were not designed for.
The first fleet of buses will kick off the operation of the scheme. The fleet would be gradually increased to 5,000 buses in the coming months, the governor said.
“Our local councils’ chairmen must play their parts in ensuring the roads are free from encumbrances likely to impede the smooth running of the FLM buses. I charge our security and law enforcement agencies to be alive to the crucial role they have to play in the success of this scheme,” Sanwo-Olu sad.
The governor reinforced the restriction on commercial motorcycles in 15 local councils and 11 major highways, warning that the state government would mete out stiff penalties to defaulters still riding Okada within the restricted areas.
Managing Director of LAMATA, Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, said the FLM buses operations would start immediately in Zones 2,3,4,5, and 7 captured in the first phase of the bus scheme.
For safety, Mrs Akinajo said a monitoring mobile application had been designed for real time data collection as well as vehicle tracking purpose, adding that all drivers to be engaged in the FLM scheme would be certified by the Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) to ensure that they are fit to operate the buses.
“We will ensure proper maintenance of the buses to guarantee their service longevity. Maintenance of the buses will be outsourced to the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), which will be responsible for executing all preventive and corrective maintenance needs. Operators will ensure that buses are maintained in line with the best engineering standard,” the LAMATA boss said.