People who have lived in the Lagos have at one point or the other had encounters with the rickety buses smeared with yellow paint and black stripes, also known as Danfo.
Most Lagos State commercial vehicles, like the buses (danfos), cabs (taxis) and tricycles (Kekenapep) have adopted the color, making it a signature look that anyone can recognize from miles away.
Similarly, other states in Nigeria have their own color scheme for their commercial vehicles.
A typical danfo bus in the bustling city of Lagos carries almost 16 passengers, including the driver and conductor, but in some cases, they’re more than that because you can find a person carrying another person on his or her legs if there are no more spaces or if they need to cut cost.
Most Lagos buses have conductors attached to them like a follow-come charger.
Following the ban of commercial motorcycles and tricycles, moving around has become more stressful and tiresome for some Lagosians.
On the 3rd of February, the Lagos State Government directed the management of Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL) to deploy a fleet of 65 buses to join some major routes to ease commuters’ pain.
Residents are still complaining that they’re yet to see the buses on the streets and they have to trek or find other means of reaching their destinations.
From Bus drivers hiking the transport fare, their unprofessional driving skills, conductors not having ‘change’ to passengers struggling to join a bus over limited seats are the attendant experiences of Lagosians boarding danfo buses.
Information Nigeria roamed the beautiful city that never sleeps to ask residents about their travails in the iconic buses and they are definitely worth sharing.
Here are some funny yet true experiences below:
A youth corp member, who pleaded anonymity, said;
”I was coming from my CDS and after struggling to enter a bus, I realized a girl had placed her wet poly bag nylon on my white shirt, when I got home I saw blood at the back of my shirt.”
A middle-aged man identified as Josiah Solomon gave a short tale of his experience saying;
“I once had to jump off a moving vehicle because the bus driver didn’t want to be stopped by area boys. It was a terrible experience because I didn’t see that there was a pothole before I took the risk of jumping.”
Demidun Akinwumi gladly obliged to telling her recent experience in the danfo bus.
”When I’m on a bus, I try to distract myself by staying glued to my phone but some people’s eyes won’t stay one place, they will be peeping into my phone. My boyfriend once sent me an explicit message and a woman seated me saw it and began telling her friend”, she said:
Looking exhausted after a long day’s work, Femi Adeoti said;
”I once got lost when I boarded a danfo. I was going to work on this particular day and there was heavy traffic, we had to follow an unfamiliar route, I got confused and asked the driver to drop me in a street. I began asking people for directions back to the main road.“
After a successful sale at the market, a trader named Cynthia Ogechukwu, who had closed for the day said;
”It is hard to find a bus going to Oworoshoki from 5pm but the ban made it even worse. I was rushing to catch a bus at Bariga when I accidentally hit my head while entering because I didn’t know it was that low and someone stole my phone from my bag”
The bus kept emitting smoke and I realized there was fuel directly behind me. Everywhere was choked up. I wish the government would do something about this.”
A web user, Akintunde Olayinka Godfidence shared his experience saying;
”It’s not funny at all. Transport fare has increased, there’s always heavy traffic on the road. Ever since the ban on okada and Keke, the thought of going to work saddens me. It has been hell so far.“
Recounting her experience, Hope Ezioma Umesi complained about the sudden increase in transportation fares by bus drivers.
“I told the driver I was going to Lagos business school from PWAN at Oko-ado and i told him I had 100 naira he said enter, when I got there I gave him 200 naira expecting 150 balance only for him to tell it’s 100 and drove off. The thing pain me oooo
“In the morning going to church, from my junction to church is 50 naira the driver asked me about the exact place I told he said ” and you hold 50 naira” and I said yes na, he started talking and expecting me to beg before he could say come down I shouted at him to drop me.
“Honestly, this whole thing is crazy and annoying”, she said.
A resident in Lagos, Johnson Babson complained about the conductors not having change and giving passengers money to share.
“Hmmmmm… Its really craziest indeed, when danfo drivers inflated their fee, and danfo conductor will tell you ‘No’ change, Enter with your change, after you have managed to enter the bus, and will start insulting more so join change with you and fellow passengers in the bus stop.”
Sam Dashiell Afenfia complained bitterly saying;
“Buses that run Obalende to Ajah reduced by 2/3rd. They focused more on going the short distance (Obalende to falomor) at a higher price. Instead of 50 naira it’s now #100( any bustop from Obalende)
Obalende to Ajah was BTW (250 to 300) depending on traffic. I found myself paying #500 one time and that was after I trekked a long distance and fought over 50 people at the bus stop.“
Akinbayo Salami had this to say about his worst danfo experiences;
“I was trying to catch the bus going to Yaba but it drove off leaving me to wait for another 30 minutes at the bus stop.“
Following suit, Bukola Soremi said;
”Some men are taking advantage of the bus to harass women, this man stretched his hand around my shoulder and accidentally hit my boobs in the crowded bus.”
Kunle Adesanya (name withheld) complained about bus drivers not pronouncing the locations clearly saying;
”I once entered a bus at Sabo going to Makoko because it sounded like Pako. It was truly a funny experience.“
Saheed Mohammed, a graphic designer, said;
“There was a day I met a girl who was trying to preach to me inside the bus. She asked for my name and I told her.
“She continued preaching despite the fact that she knows I am a Muslim.
“She preached all the way from Yaba to Lagos University Teaching Hospital.”
The funniest experience was given by Uzor Chioma.
In her words,
“There was a day I was going to Ikeja City Mall. After I got to Ojuelegba, I entered a bus and the bus fare was 300 instead of 200.
“After I paid, the tire of the bus deflated on the road but the driver replaced it with a spare tire.
“Not so long after we continued our journey, the spare tire went down. The driver refused to refund our money but he promised to put us on another bus.
“Apparently, one of the passengers happened to be a military man so he challenged the bus driver.
“The driver didn’t know he was arguing with a Soldier until he got slapped by the military man.
“The driver started begging, promising to put the military man in a car and that was how I and other passengers started claiming that they work with the military but the driver didn’t refund our money.”
Ajibodu Tobiloba said;
”I school in Ogun state so I’m not really familiar with Lagos road. My worst danfo experience was when I had to go to Ikorodu for something important.
“I had budgeted 500 naira. When I got to Ojuelegba, they told me to go to stadium then they transferred me to Yaba.
“From Yaba they transferred me back to Ojuelegba and las las, I had to go back to stadium again.
“I had already spent 200 naira out of my t-fare
“When I finally entered a bus going to Ikorodu, it was late in the evening so I was asking my mom for directions on the phone when a man sitting beside me said I should calm down that he is also going to Ikorodu.
“I was already happy, so after being on the road for a long time, I asked the man if we had gotten to the place but he said he forgot that I was going toI korodu that we had already passed the place. I couldn’t cry.”
Michael Issac also chipped in his own experience saying;
“Since government has placed ban okada and keke… It’s been terrible, I mean, it’s bad that the transport system in Lagos is bad enough but it just went from bad to worse… For me… having to walk through some distance before I get a bus going to my bus stop is just too much… I usually just get a keke going to Pako for just N100, but now, I have to trek for a while before I get a bus and still pay N150. it’s just sad.”