- Drivers of the BRT system in Lagos have allegedly jettisoned the tap-in system installed to forestall fraud
- Passengers complain that some drivers resort to taking cash from passengers instead of using the system
- An eyewitness said the operators also keep seats for special passengers who do not join queues at terminals
It has emerged that BRT drivers in Lagos have devised a new means of short-changing the Lagos State government by abandoning the tap-in system and load passengers directly into the buses.
The tap-in system is a method of generating money for the state government and is now seen to be jettisoned, for the most part, by the drivers in the state.
Cash for seats cause commotion
Eyewitnesses plying the Agric Ikorodu terminal told Legit.ng that the drivers on the route have resorted to taking cash directly from some passengers instead of boarding them by letting them tap their preloaded Cowrie cards on the device mounted at the entrance of every bus.
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One of the eyewitnesses who craved anonymity told Legit.ng that during a heavy downpour on Friday, July 1, 2022, the drivers began boarding people without cards and abandoned those in the queue.
According to him, the queue in the Oshodi corridor was light, saying that shortly after he joined, he noticed that the queue was not moving and upon inquiry was told that the drivers are boarding ‘special people,’ by giving them preferential treatment over those on the queue with cards.
He said what the BRT officials do is take N500 cash from those who are not in the queue as the officials already know this set of passengers and would load them first before those in the queue with cards.
He stated that “half of those inside the bus paid cash to the BRT official and only half tapped in.”
The situation caused a commotion as most of those in the queue began to protest the preferential treatment given to those who paid cash and when he eventually got in after paying N500 cash and wanted to sit down, a bus official told him that the seat was already reserved.
When Legit.ng reached out to Fola Tinubu, the Managing Director of Primero Services Limited, operators of the BRT buses, he said he was out of town and asked the reporter to wait until next week.
“I am out town now, we can talk next week,” Tinubu said in a text message to our reporter.
The BRT is built to forestall fraud and allows passengers to preload their cards with certain amounts.
Passengers tap in on a device mounted at the entrance of every BRT and Last Mile bus with their cards and the money is recorded and sent to a centralised system.
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Legit.ng reported that Onyinyechi Anoke, a medical doctor, who narrated her encounter with Nice said the incident occurred during a one-week visit to Lagos in December 2021.
The medical doctor narrated that she boarded a BRT bus driven by Nice at Rasco bus stop axis along Ikorodu road for her destination in Ketu around 7:30pm on December 29, 2021.
It all happened in a flash and I was seated at one of the front row seats, opposite the driver’s end…