As Lagosians we’ve all used one of the forms of commercial transportation available. If you’ve lived in the state of aquatic splendour for a while you’ve either ‘jumped molue’, used the LSTC buses, the varied coaster buses operational at that point in time, entered the yellow and black taxis or maybe the unmarked ones, and most certainly used the numerous danfos as well. You may have used ALL these forms if you grew up here and so can wax lyrical about each form and maybe give a brief history lesson of which was dominant and the advantages or disadvantages associated with them.
The molue is now a relic that hopefully finds its place in the museum and transportation history of Lagos state when compiled. The LSTC bus has morphed into the BRT and although the yellow and black taxis are still alive, they have very stiff competition from newer models, new operators/companies and services that come complete with air-conditioners, pick-up services and other new fangled benefits that don’t augur well for their competitiveness or longevity.
The private companies have introduced services that cater to convenience, comfort et al of users and this gives them an edge over and above the previous providers. Interestingly enough, some ‘old’ operators have caught on and now give out their mobile numbers, fix air-conditioners and other things in order to stay relevant and operational.
Despite the fact that certain forms of conveyance have become outmoded, others like the danfo bus seem to be proliferating! We see them everywhere, crammed passengers, bumper stickers, unbelievably loud horns, conductors and crazy driving as some of its trademark. Their characteristic ability to stop anywhere along the express, road or street have been somewhat tamed largely due to LASTMA, but they still manage to cause irritation and obstruction in and to traffic in the course of any day.
The face of transportation is slowly changing with the introduction of private companies and the comfort factor also been gradually factored into the system. The traffic situation on the other hand seems to have worsened and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for this as long as we continue to buy cars and other forms that MUST ply the roads. The most cheering news is that ALL large cities worldwide face this challenge too. The response and structure to tackling it is the only thing that differs and either makes or mars the successful resolution of this knotty issue.
We all agree that nothing beats owning your own car because with it many variables no longer lord it over you, unlike those still dependent on the public version. Providing a modicum of comfort and convenience for those that will continue to use them goes a long way in enabling the citizens of the land become more productive in all areas of their lives.