Ironically, the governor of Osun State’s effort at goodwill stalls the livelihood of commercial drivers in the state.
Some commercial drivers in Osogbo, Osun State on Tuesday complained of low patronage as a result of the free rail transportation facility provided by the State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, during the Eid el Fitri celebration.
The Osun Government had made rail transportation service available to people residing in Lagos, Abeokuta and Ibadan who wished to celebrate the Eid el Fitri in Osun.
Lots of people embraced the gesture and it resulted in low patronage of commercial vehicles.
A cross section of commercial drivers’ shuttling from Osogbo to Ibadan, Abeokuta and Lagos said that the majority of commuters preferred the free rail service and fewer passengers patronised the vehicles.
According to Dare Fasunle, the unit auditor of Olaya Motor Park in Osogbo, “the gesture of the state government has negative effect on our business”.
“Only few passengers who were not aware of the free rail service patronise the park despite normal fare we maintained.
“We did not increase transport fares, Osogbo to Lagos still remains N1, 200 , Osogbo to Ibadan is N700 while Osogbo to Abeokuta is N1,200,” Mr. Fasunle said.
A commercial driver, Biodun Alabi, who goes from Lagos to Osogbo and back said “the free rail service is a blessing to many people but a plight to drivers that shuttle Lagos, Abeokuta and Ibadan”.
Mr. Alabi, however, commended Osun government for the gesture, noting that it really assisted the masses.
Another driver, Jacob Olayinka, also decried the emergence of the free rail transport system during the celebration, describing it as a “collapse of road transport business during the Eld el Fitri”.
But Mr. Olayinka said the gesture was laudable, he urged the state government to assist the NURTW with commuter buses at subsidised rate.