Iconic Yellow Buses Banned From Lagos Business District

Iconic Yellow Buses Banned From Lagos Business District

The Nigerian government last week banned yellow commercial buses, known popularly as molue, from crossing the link bridges to Lagos Island and operating in the central business district, according to a report in All Africa.

For decades, molue were the major means of commercial commuting in the city, the report said. Over time, the poorly-maintained, rickety and smoky buses started becoming an eyesore, contributing to worsening traffic congestion and accidents.

The name molue was coined from the English word, “maul,” – as in rough handling – because of the way passengers scramble to board the bus, according to an official with the National Union of Road Transport Workers.

Afro beat maestro Fela Anikulapo Kuti dedicated an album, “Suffering and Smiling,” to the molue. Fela sang about “44 passengers sitting and 99 standing,” to call the government’s attention to the abysmal state of public transportation in the country, the report said.

Government officials said molue can operate in any other part of the state aside from the restricted areas.

Anthony Ikenna, a concerned resident, said, “This is another anti-poor legislation. The state government should have provided enough BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) buses before banning the alternative. Passengers sometimes spend three hours waiting for buses.”

Dayo Mobereola, managing director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, said the government will introduce 50 new buses and refurbish 100 serviceable vehicles by the end of September.