The ban on mini commercial buses otherwise known as “Araba” with the aim of addressing the issue of traffic congestion took effect on 3rd June, 2013 after a failed attempt in October 2012 where the bus drivers vehemently resisted the new transportation policy and resorted to attacking the BRT (Big Rapid Transit).
In the implementation of the policy, commercial buses (12-18 space capacity) were stopped at Kubwa, Yar’Adua Expressway and Nyanya and the high capacity buses (BRT buses) then convey passengers to the metropolitan city.
Unleashing their grievances on the passengers, the commercial bus drivers devised a means of extorting money unjustly from passengers charging them exorbitantly.
The ban left hundreds of people stranded as passengers were forced either to walk to their places of work or alternatively pay double-times the transportation fare which the “Araba” owners used to exploit the people.
Even though the disappointed bus drivers were not entirely robbed of their jobs, they inflated the prices by collecting the same transport fare (N150-N200) as though they were getting to the city centres. Normally, the fare shouldn’t be more than N50
The BRT buses provided to supplement the phased out commercial buses were not commensurate with the escalating population. As such, hundreds of people flooded bus-stops and road sides waiting for an alternative means to get to work.