Enugu – Some commercial drivers in Enugu on Friday, expressed joy over high patronage following the resumption of pupils and students in schools for the 2019/ 2010 academic session.
A survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed that transportation is one of the major means of livelihood, while students are the major customers of the commercial drivers in the metropolis.
NAN reports that many drivers and their conductors increased their fares as passengers were made to pay N100 as against N70 from Mayor bus-stop to Agric Bank and WAEC bus-stops from 7 a.m to 8.30 a.m
Some of the commercial drivers told NAN that the school resumption made them to increase the number of trips from two to four trips before noon on daily basis.
Mr Uche Nwakwe, a mini commercial bus driver, said that students were among their main sources of income due to their large number at the bus stops.
Nwakwe said during the holidays many bus-stops were left with few commuters, making the transport business in the metropolis boring and less profitable.
“During the holidays, there was no early morning rush hour, at times a driver may end up going for only two trips throughout the day with a half full bus,” he said.
Mr Nnamdi Ewulu, another driver, said that the school resumption was good for him “it is a good thing that has happened to me because I need to pay children’s school fees.
“With the resumption of schools, I am sure of my children’s school fees because I have started making more profit, compared to when students were on holiday.”
Meanwhile, Mr Felix Onyebuchi, another commercial driver, who plies Agbani/New Layout routes, noted that the transport business would have been useless without the school children.
Onyebuchi added that the patronage from students when schools were in session had helped commercial drivers to remain in the transport business in spite of the daily payment of different tickets’ fees.
He appealed to the state government to create enabling environment for the commercial drivers by reducing the number of the tickets to one ticket and as well putting some of bad roads in good shape.
“We are calling on the Enugu State Government to help us by reducing the ticket fees paid by the commercial drivers on daily basis and try to repair our roads.
“We pay the state government, the local government and the ministry of transport ticket fees, during the holiday some of us usually find it difficult to cope financially.
“Since the schools are in session, we pay the fees without much argument,” he said.
Others also, said that they had been enjoying cool money as passengers were not pricing before entering due to the large number of passengers particularly in the morning and after school hours.