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Fuel scarcity worsens congestion on train services

04 March 2014, 16:09

Lagos - The current fuel scarcity in the country has worsened the congestion and passengers hardship on the Ogun/Lagos Mass Transit Train Services (MTTS) of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).

Prior to the scarcity, congestion in the trains was caused by the reduction in the number of coaches used to run the services.

The current fuel scarcity has forced road transport fares to go up which in turn forced many people to take train to their destinations.

The situation on the services has got more congested as the passengers were now almost doubled, leaving the them to be packed like sardines.

The worsened congestion has also forced the return of the people who hang on the trains’ roof.

Before now, some people hung on the roof before or after Mushin train station to avoid arrest by the police but with the situation, the defiant now hang to Mushin daring arrest.

The corporation used four stocks to run 16 services a day from Ijoko in Ogun to Ido and Apapa in Lagos in the morning and back in the evening.

Each stock has between 12 to 14 coaches thereby reducing congestion in the trains.

The corporation about three years ago started its long distance services to Ilorin and Kano.

The corporation has reduced the coaches on its MTTS to augment the long distance services which caused the initial congestion in the trains.

For example, the service from Ijoko to Apapa before the long distance services were restored had 14 coaches but now it has been reduced to nine.

A top official of the corporation who pleaded anonymity said that plans were on going to increase the number of coaches on the MTTS.

The official added that the corporation would not because of the congestion allow hanging on train roof, saying it would continue to arrest offenders.

Meanwhile, the ever teeming passengers of the MTTS have renewed their appeal to the corporation to urgently address the congestion, saying it was unhealthy.

The passengers also appealed to the corporation to re-open its Oshodi Station.

The station was closed in 2007 after it was burnt during a clash between two rival groups of the National Union of Road Transport Workers.

-  NAN

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