Train Passengers have expressed dissapointment as management of Nigerian Railway Corporation(NRC) increased inter State Passenger train fare from a flat rate of N460.00 to N700.00 per passenger from Kajola/Ijoko in Ogun State to Iddo in Lagos State and back.
Although, no official reason was given for the increase in passenger fares on the narrow gauge Lagos mass transit train service as at the time of filling this report, a reliable source hinted that the increase was necessitated due to increase in the price of diesel and cost of running the trains.
A visit to Agbado railway station in Ogun state yesterday morning, showed passengers grumbling and talking in hushed voices about the increase.
Investigation carried out shows that the new price increase of N700 was reflected on the tickets issued passengers, representing a difference of N240 from the former cost of N460.
It was gathered that, the notice of the increase had since been posted on the passenger/management platform on WhatsApp, but not pasted on the notice board at the railway stations as was the case in the past.
While some passengers were taken aback by the increase and simply went back home, majority who got hint of the increase earlier, reluctantly purchased the ticket.
One of the passengers interviewed, Mr. Olawale Johnson said, the increase was too much adding that, the increase should have been minimised to about N500.
He lamented that with the new increase, a return journey from Ijoko to Agege will now be N1, 400 as against N1,000 by road.
Another passenger, Mrs. Joy Akpasa opined that railway is supposed to be a social service operated at a subsidised rate for the masses but that the reverse is the case as cost of public and commercial bus transport are at par.
Railway district manager, Engineer Augustine Arase did not reply to a text message sent to him, to explain the rationale for the increase in cost of train ticketing on the Ijoko/Kajola to Iddo narrow gauge railway corridor.