By Emeke Alexander

Cost of intra-state transportation in Delta State is expected to reduce in the coming days, following the directive by the state government that the daily ticket levies for tricycle and motorcycle operators in the state be reduced further.

The directive which takes immediate effect is part of efforts by the state government to mitigate the effect of the COVID – 19 pandemic on operators and passengers.

The governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, had on Tuesday, 28th April, 2020, while announcing the partial lifting of the ban on movements which took effect Thursday, 30th April, 2020, directed that transport services (keke, taxis, buses) are allowed to operate with 2 passengers at the back for keke; one person at the front seat and two persons at the back for a taxi while 10-12 persons for a 16-seater/18-seater bus.

This directive coupled with the daily ticket levies paid by the drivers led to a hike in intra-state transportation particularly in the Warri, Uvwie and Udu areas of the state.

However, with the further reduction in the daily ticket levies by the government, it is expected that in the coming days the recent hike in transport fares will also reduce.

Real-Time24 gathered that following the directive, all tricycle operators would now pay two hundred naira and motorcycle riders one hundred naira for their daily tickets.

The State President of the Tricycle and Motorcycle Operator Association, Mr. Obi Nzete, who disclosed the slash in the ticket levies after a meeting with the state governor, said the downward review of the levies would further cushion the effect of the COVID 19 on the people of the state.

Mr. Nzete said the association had earlier reduced the levy for daily tickets from three hundred naira to two hundred and fifty naira for tricycle operators after the COVID 19 lockdown was partially relaxed by the governor but that with the new directive keke operators would now pay two hundred naira, while motorcycle riders would pay one hundred naira daily.

He said the reduction was for the period under review, noting that the state government and the association were deeply concerned about the plight of operators and riders as the number a tricycle should carry had been reduced to only two passengers while motorcycle is one passenger at a time.

Nzete directed all members of the executive, tricycle operators popularly called keke and motorcycle riders to take note of the directive.