Donald Frank, a resident of the Ojodu LCDA Ward C heard about the news of the Ojodu LCDA free buses intervention scheme launched by Segun Odunmbaku, the Executive Chairman of the Ojodu LCDA but wasn’t aware that it had kicked off.
On August 18, Frank’s son told him about the free bus as he had boarded it on his way back from an errand. On his way out that same day, Frank saw one of the buses on Shonola Street, and decided to board it. “This is a plus for us,” he told The Record while waiting in the bus for more passengers to arrive.
According to a press release issued by the Ojodu Executive Chairman office, the free buses will be available at the various take-off routes in all the six wards only in the morning from 6am to 9am, and by 4pm to 7pm.
However, when our staff reporter arrived at the Ward C take-off point which is located on Shonola Street, Aguda, Ogba around 4:00 pm, the free bus was nowhere in sight.
“Is it 4pm yet? They are always around that time,” Iwu Magnus, a motorcyclist on Shonola Street said, assuring our reporter that the bus would show up.
He confirmed the late arrival of the buses to The Record, disclosing that buses arrive by 7am, not 6am as stated in the press release.
The first bus finally arrived by 4:33pm. Within 20 minutes, it got filled up and left. The second bus arrived a few minutes after the first bus left but it took more time for this bus to get filled up.
There is this public notion that everyone loves free things. But, surprisingly, some residents in the Ojodu LCDA are still sceptical of using these free buses.
“Some people are ashamed to enter the buses,” Magnus told The Record, stating that residents don’t want to be regarded as being too poor to afford a motorcycle fare.
While speaking to The Record, Mr Olawale, one of the Ward C bus drivers said he was convinced that with time the doubt will reduce as the residents would have been used to the idea of the free bus intervention.
However, other residents are elated about the free bus initiative and are hopeful that the initiative will stay for a long while.
A curious resident on Shonola Street came by to make more inquiries about the free bus initiative. “I have been seeing them (the buses) on our street but my children and I haven’t been lucky enough to board one,” she said.
One of the commuters who wanted his name withheld disclosed how the free bus helps him save money he would have spent to and fro, from his house to the bus stop.
Another anonymous commuter who boards the bus to work to and fro says that the initiative gives him so much joy and hope in the system.
“This is my third time boarding the bus. I came out with it this morning, this particular driver. I can actually work my timing into their time when they start in the morning,” he said.