Commuters heading towards the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway area are lamenting the abrupt hike in transport fares by commercial drivers plying Berger, Arepo, Magboro, Mowe, Ibafo, and other areas along the road.

observed that the fares for drivers at the Ikeja under Bridge Park are more than those of other yellow buses that do not utilise the park.

Speaking to our correspondent, a passenger, Bimbo Ademola, stated that she trekked a distance to lower her transport costs because of the hike.

Bimbo said, “These drivers are making us feel uncomfortable, as though they are the only ones feeling the economy. How can the transport fare be so high? Sometimes, it is not every time I can afford the fare.

“There are days I will have to trek a long distance because I want to reduce my transport fare. The only time the prices are okay is on weekends. Every other day is something else.

Another passenger, Adesewa Adesulu, lamented the increase in transport costs while urging the government to alleviate the sufferings of the public.

“There is nothing we can do because Nigeria is going somewhere else. Our leaders are not helping. Since the time they removed the fuel subsidy, everything has changed for the worse. I cannot blame the drivers totally, but they are making things worse for the people.

“I want to plead with President Bola Tinubu to make things better because the suffering is getting out of hand in the country. There is no food, water, or fuel. The government should please do better.”

In a reaction, a driver, Babatunde Hakeem, claimed that the road transport union workers were the reason they collect higher prices from passengers, adding that they divide the profit they make daily.

Hakeem said, “We know that the country is hard for everyone at the moment. The prices of everything have changed, and sometimes the money we tell passengers is not the actual price. From Monday to Friday, we take Ikeja to Berger for N500, but when it is night, we take N300. On Saturday and Sunday, we take N400 when we go to Berger, but at night, we reduce it by N100.”

Another driver, simply identified as Bade, claimed that drivers charge higher rates because passengers arrive at the parking lot faster, as organised by trade unions in the state.

“The park is always faster to get customers, especially in the morning. If not because we get customers at the park faster, most of us will want to carry our passengers for the normal price. But all these agberos and union workers will not agree, and one thing is sure: we cannot work and not make a profit,” he added.

All efforts to get the reaction of the Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Transportation, Bolanle Ogunlola, proved abortive, as several calls and messages sent to her mobile phone were not responded to as of the time of filing this report.8.