The Lagos-Ibadan free train ride recently declared by the Federal Government has been marred by a very low turn out of passengers.
According to reports, the train that came to Ibadan from Lagos on Monday left Iju train station at 4pm with just four passengers while the the one that left Moniya,Ibadan, by 9am on Tuesday arrived Lagos with two passengers.
When contacted on the low turn out of passengers, the Managing Director Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engineer Fidelis Okhiria, said with time, the turn out will increase.
His words: “Don’t forget that when we started the Abuja to Kaduna train ride, the turn out was very low. You know that people always want to be convinced about a service, whether it will be consistent and regular.
“I am happy that four people followed it to Ibadan yesterday. Those four people will tell others about the service and with time others will join.
“The two people that came with the train to Lagos from Ibadan will also tell others. Through this channel of communication, we expect the turnout to increase.
“For now, we have only two coaches on the free train ride from Lagos to Ibadan, so we can’t even afford a very large turn out for now. However, we are sure that by the time we will be commencing commercial activities in April of 2020, the turn out would have increased and more coaches would have been added to the service.”
It would be recalled that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had over the weekend annnounced commencement of the free train ride from Lagos to Ibadan.