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NAN Media Consultants

Abuja-Kaduna train service resumes operation with fare increases

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By Moses Kolo

The Rigasa Train Station in Kaduna record low turnout of passengers on Tuesday as the Abuja-Kaduna train service resumed operations nine months after its suspension.

The resumption of service on the route came 251 days after the Federal Government announced its suspension following terrorists attack on a passenger train in Kaduna on March 28.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who visited the Rigasa Station on Tuesday reports that petty businesses were already picking up at the fringes of the premises, however.

Residents who spoke with NAN commended government for restoring the service, but challenged it to pay greater attention to security on the route.

Mr Adamu Abdullah, a commuter, commended the resumption of service, but lamented the slight hike in fares.

At resumption of service on Monday, passengers using the 24-seater coaches were charged N9,000, up from N7,000 charged before the terrorists’ attack.

Those using the 56-seater and 68-seater coaches now pay N6,500, up from N5,000 before the terrorists’ attack, while those in the 88-seater coaches pay N3,600, up from N2,600 and N3,000, depending on the time of the trip.

Minors are now charged N3,000, up from the N1,500 they paid before the attack.

Abdullah told NAN that in spite of the fare increase, he preferred to use the rail, particularly on Mondays when the Kaduna-Abuja Highway usually experienced pronounced gridlocks.

Mr Gabriel Bala, another respondent applauded the presence of reinforcement of security operatives at the Rigasa Station.

“We hope the effort will be sustained so that people will have the confidence to patronise the train service.

“People would hardly forget the March terrorists attack, but with the presence of security operatives, I am sure business will resume fully,’’ he said.

Another respondent, Mr Haruna Abdullahi, who operates a grocery store at the station, noted that businesses around the premises were gradually picking up.

“Since commuters have started coming to the station, we will make sales. I am sure that full business would resume in no distant time especially with end-of-year movements fast approaching,’’ he said.

NAN