The sudden increase in the price of fuel due to the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu has compelled many middle class workers to abandon their private cars and resort to using public transport, while others walk short distances to cut cost. Recall that President Tinubu on May 29, during his inauguration speech declared an end to the subsidy regime on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.
Less than two days later, the pump price of fuel skyrocketed from N198 per litre to an average of N500 per litre. The price is currently above N600 per litre in many states of the federation.
In a series of interviews with New Telegraph, some workers say they no longer use their cars, but rather join commercial vehicles or BRT, while others trek some distances to meet up with the hike in price.
When the price of fuel was N198 per litre, Lagos-based Evangel Irenonse used to fill up his Lexus RX300 car fuel tank with approximately N12,000. Now that it is being sold for N600 per litre, he now spends almost N37,000 to fill same vehicle tank. He said, “I come from Meiran to Yaba every day, if I carry my car I will fill up my Lexus RX300 fuel tank with approximately 8k but if I make use of public transport complemented with BRT and staff bus, I spend 1,500 which is always the best ways to save costs”.
Speaking further, he said, “The use of staff bus and BRT has made me face less traffic on the road due to the free road created by the government, so I do not have to be stuck in traffic for hours compared to before.
“There were days I will stand in BRT to beat time whenever the queue in BRT station is long and I will not lie it is not a palatable experience,” he concluded.
When asked if this is the first time he has had to abandon his car at home and use public transport to work, he said, “This is not my first time, I have used public transport during election period due to traffic and now it is due the increase in price. The experience has been okay apart from the standing situation, everything has been going well.”
In the same vein, an event planner, Apata Adedotun said,” I stopped taking my car to work since the increment in fuel prices, public transport has been cheaper and faster as a matter of fact, traffic has drastically reduced since the increment in fuel price.”
Still speaking, he said, “Since I stared entering bus it has been manageable in the sense that I am not used to fighting for buses like I do now, the first few days was like hell, but with time I adjusted to that kind of lifestyle, because carrying my car to work is a no no for me actually.”
“Entering public transport has actually helped me save cost, I tend to leave my house earlier than usual as I do not have control over the time on the road compared to when I carry my car, I do not have to pick passengers on the road, branch places and can even decide not to pass through a particular route because of traffic, so basically I get to work almost the same time range when I carry my car.”
When asked how much he spends on transport fare, Dotun said, “Five thousand naira when I drive and One thousand and four hundred per day when I take public transport.