By Kehinde Ayanboade
Despite the implementation of the modern transportation system introduced in Lagos, the old rickety buses painted in yellow with black stripes popularly known as the Danfo are still found in the in – streets of Lagos State, serving as the only means of transportation for the downtrodden Lagosians who could not afford to get a personal car of their own. Following the official ban of commercial motorcycles and tricycles, moving around has become more stressful and tiresome for an average Lagosian.
It could be recalled that on the 3rd of February, 2020, the Lagos State Government ordered the management of Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL) to deploy a fleet of 65 buses to join some major routes to ease commuters’ pain. It is surprising that residents still complains that they’re yet to see the buses on the streets and they have to trek or find other means of reaching their destinations. Horrible experience in these iconic Buses started with drivers hiking the transport fare, their unprofessional driving skills, conductors not having ‘change’ to passengers struggling to join a bus over limited seats are the attendant experiences of Lagosians boarding danfo buses.
Over 17. 5 million residents (per statistics) who reside in the city of Lagos have at one point or the other had encounters with these buses of which most of them are in dilapidated conditions threatening the comfortability of commuters who board them on daily basis. The physical structure of these buses are unpleasant, merely looking at them, one would see terror in disguise in accompany with the large number of of passengers one would need to compete with and immoral attitudes of drivers and conductors of the buses.
For someone who is not based in Lagos but comes into the state on occasional basis, one of the bad memories that would welcome such person into the state is when he set his eyes on these dangerous and reckless buses. Lagos Danfo are mostly 18 passengers with four sitting on each roles and two people siting beside the driver. Conductors, who are most times unruly and uncultured are attached to each of these buses. Apart from the fact that these buses are not spacious enough, seats are bad, dirty, and most uncomfortable for commuters.
Lagos is an overcrowded state where commuters need to jostle with others to get a seat in the danfo, and it has been an operational routine for these commercial buses to stop over in every single bus stop due to heavy rate of traffic jam. Passenger in a bus that carries 18, feels uncomfortable and inconvenient especially from the vapour of the poisonous smoke that the bus generates.
My travail and horrible experience in these “death traps” are worth sharing, As a Journalist based in Ibadan who comes to Lagos once in a while for occasionally reasons. The experience have been a very hell of a thing as what I’ve encountered is nothing to write home about. As a multimedia person who also engage in Videography, I was on a journey to Iyana Ipaja, Ayobo of Alimosho local government of Lagos State and my experience when I visited in December 2018 was bad. Firstly it was the lackadaisical attitude of drivers and pollution of the environment. Most of these buses were damaged and were only put on the road to put the life of commuters in danger. I picked a danfo going to Ayobo Ayetoro in Ipaja and the bus was so bad that I almost regretted coming to the state. One of the problem commuters faced is that the seat of the buses were made of iron and woods which make these buses so inconvenient.
This particular Danfo bus was in a bad condition, I had no choice than to board it since there is no other choice and I’m not too familiar with that route. The Danfo driver started the engine and the bus made a heavy noise with smoke coming into the bus from a damaged part of the vehicle. passengers would not even be able to hear themselves in an inter personal communication. It was four (4) on a seat and almost every passenger on my row has someone on their laps making the bus so inconvenient for me.
It is a taboo to sleep or slumber in a public transport in Lagos, because it’s either one experience pickpocket experience or got injured through these artificial seats: my experience.
The government of Lagos state need to see to releasing of more modern buses not only in the elite areas of the state but to crowded parts as well, even in Yaba where a park was commissioned by Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu few months ago, commuters still has no choice than to board these damaged public vehicles. Since this is service rendering and they pay huge amount to get this service, their comfortability should also be a subject of concern
The Last Guardian
A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.
- Good low light camera
- Water resistant
- Double the internal capacity
- Lacks clear upgrades
- Same design used for last three phones
- Battery life unimpressive