Passengers who patronize the Abuja-Kaduna rail transport has decried the recent hike in the fares, saying the aim is likely going to be defeated if not addressed urgently.
But an official of the railway corporation said the increase was not meant to punish the masses but to serve them better.
Recall that at the inception, the fare from Abuja- Kaduna for the standard class was N600 per passenger while the 1st class was N900 but with the new rate, the standard class will have to pay N1050 while the 1st class now pays 1500.
Some of the passengers that spoke to our correspondent at the Abuja-Kaduna (AK) train service station Rigasa in Kaduna said they are disappointed with the sudden increase.
According to Hajiya Salamatu Ibrahim, ” the increase of N450 all of a sudden. Is too much. The train service was meant to help us the ordinary masses but with the increase now, am not sure if it is still so” she said.
On his part, Mr Danjuma Alkali said, “we heard that the increase was due to the increase in the price of Diesel, in any case, it is still cheaper that the fare of taking vehicle to Abuja by road” he said.
In defence of the fare increase however, the AK train service station manager, Kaduna Lawal Mohammed said, the fare increase is basically to improve service delivery to the customers.
When asked if the increase in fare has affected the patronage, he said, we now have more passengers, some of who have to wait for hours to board the train.
“It is true that we have increased the fare but it is meant to improve on our services to our customers and serve them better. The increase has not affected the patronage at all, because our services have improved” he reiterated.
Our correspondent who visited the train station reports that several passengers were on ground waiting to board the train from Kaduna-Abuja while several others were seen alighting from train that arrived from Abuja.