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  Transportation in Lagos, the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system has been around since 2008. It was meant to relieve the regular Lagos traffic congestion and make fares affordable for low-income earners. It was initiated by the government of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and extended by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
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The BRT Lite system was supposed to make Transportation in Lagos easier and it is operated by Primero Transport Services and 4 other operators in conjunction with Lagos State Government. This means that not all BRT buses belong to the state government, some belong to companies with a public-private partnership with the government. The Blue BRT owned by Primero Transport service is the most popular because they have the most number of buses (about 250 buses). The Lagos BRT is regulated by Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA). Under the BRT Lite system, the buses have partially segregated lanes, simpler bus shelters, are less technology-intensive and easier to implement, though not as efficient as the BRT full system. Though it is slowly moving towards the full system, where the lanes are exclusively dedicated to BRT buses, preboarding fares are collected and more technology is being integrated into the payment system. BRT goes from Mile 12 to Ikorodu, with corridors extended along Oshodi to Abule-Egba route covering a distance of well over 35.5 km. The major BRT bus stops include Onipan, Fadeyi, Ikorodu Garage, Kosofe, Stadium (Surulere), Tafawa Balewa Square (Lagos Island), Ojota, Palmgrove, Barracks (Yaba), Anthony & Maryland (along Ikorodu Road), Marina and CMS (Marina area), Idi-Iroko and Ketu.
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Plans to extend the BRT service corridors to Oworonshoki – Apapaaxis, Oto-CMS axis, TBS – Berger axis, Berger – Iyana, Ipaja-Ikotu and Jibowu-Iddo were scheduled to begin in 2020. But the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic has severely affected the plans to do so by the Babajide Sanwolu’s administration. Transportation In Lagos With BRT: 7 am – 6 pm daily with fares as low as N200 per route. The reduction in fares by Primero Transport Services across 26 routes along the Ikorodu – TBS was effected on February 1st 2021. The routes include Ikorodu – Mile12, Agric – Mile12, Owode – Ikorodu, Mile12 – Fadeyi, Mile12 – Ikorodu, Ketu – Fadeyi, Ojota – Fadeyi, Ojota – Mile12, Maryland – Fadeyi, Maryland – Mile12, Idiroko – Mile12, Obanikoro – Mile12. And also Palmgroove – Mile12, Onipanu – Mile12, Fadeyi – Mile12, Barracks – TBS, Stadium – TBS, Mosalashi – TBS, Iponri – TBS, Costain – TBS, Leventis – Fadeyi, Oyingbo – TBS, Yaba – TBS, Jibowu – TBS, Adekunle – TBS and Alagomeji – TBS.
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BRT fares started with a cash system of payments with paper tickets issued for each bus ride. But over the years, it has evolved into a cashless payment system. The smart card payment system was introduced in July 2013. Now payments can be made with an app you can download for free to your phone or a card you purchase for N200 or N400 at the Bus shelters. Once you buy the cards, you then recharge as you go. You can fund your card through USSD, ATM, or any other accessible means. If you want the fund transferred to the card on your behalf, you can meet with any customer care rep at the terminals, or use the self-service at Oshodi/Ikeja. Note: The recently purchased Blue BRT buses for the Ikorodu – TBS route that uses only the N400 card. Initially, they used ‘Lagos Connect’ Farepay cards which you tap in and tap out when boarding the bus. It charged based on the distance covered while flat fees were tied to paper tickets. But now, for the Blue BRT Primero buses, you can pay with either a Cowry card or a Cowry app. So if you have the old Lagos Connect card, you may need to swap it out with the Cowry cards at the bus shelters.
May be an image of text that says 'LAGOS STATE TRAVEL CARD tapi HERE KEEPING LAGOS OVING Cowry'
For transportation in Lagos through the BRT, the Cowry app allows you to top up pay as you go credit through bank transfers or cash; view the history of your card and contactless journey; check contactless payment history and all the bus routes. It also allows you to check your pay as you go to balance; share card credit among your friends and family and allow notifications when your pay as you go balance falls below a certain amount. Note: If you recharge your wallet through the app, that means you’re prepared to use the alternative option of boarding without your card i.e. you want to scan in. However, the QR codes on the old Primero buses don’t work with the app, at least for now. For all issues regarding the Lagos state Cowry cards, kindly contact the Cowry card Touch and Pay team on 09024429918, or send an email to Now that you know all these, we hope it makes your commuting through Lagos using the BRT system easier. Source: The IGC Proshare Ng Vanguard Ngr Tech Economy NG Global Mass Transit Report Featured Image Source: The Sun NG
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This article was first published on 22nd May 2021


Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at You can reach her at

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