How tricycles phased out taxis, buses from Kano metropolis | Dailytrust

How tricycles phased out taxis, buses from Kano metropolis

FILE PHOTO: Tricycles
FILE PHOTO: Tricycles

Kano metropolis, which used to be ever-busy with taxis and buses, has now transformed into a city of tricycles as the major means of commercial transportation, Kano/Jigawa Chronicle reports.

The ubiquitous yellow-painted tricycles, otherwise known as Adaidaita Sahu in the state, are projected to be over 70,000 navigating through all the nooks and crannies of the ancient city.

Surprisingly, almost all other alternative means of transportation – particularly taxis and buses – have been completely phased out from the city at the moment, with many of them either relocating to other states or have now changed from intra-city shuttle to urban-rural shuttle.

‘Tricycles are cheaper and faster’

Most Kano residents attributed the new development in the city to the comparative advantage of tricycles to take passengers to their doorsteps and they are cheaper and faster, unlike taxis and buses that will drop them by the main road to trek some extra distance before reaching their destinations. They are also known to be picking and dropping available passengers within a short distance and in that way waste a lot of time on the road.

Musa Balarabe, who used to board a taxi all the way from his residence at Kwanar Ungogo to Gadon Kaya, said the taxis were no longer available.

He observed that the only place that taxis operate in the city now is Kano airport, obviously because tricycles are not allowed in the area.

Buses have also been seriously affected by the Adaidaita Sahu transformation as only passengers coming from villages are still patronising them.

During a visit to Kroda, beside the popular Yankura (Sabongari) market, where some of these buses used to shuttle passengers to areas such as Zaria road-Unguwa Uku-Na’ibawa axis and to Goron Dutse-Taludu-Gwarzo road axis, it was observed that only buses going to communities outside the city are available. One of the bus drivers at the place, Hamisu Danladi, confirmed this to the Kano/Jigawa Chronicle.

Earlier in February, the two-day strike embarked upon by Adaidata Sahu riders in the state over N100 daily levy imposed by Kano State Roads and Traffic Agency (KAROTA), exposed the dominance of tricycle in the city’s mass transit.

Thousands of residents resorted to trekking to reach their destination during the strike. While some took to boarding mini-trucks used for carrying loads.

Many school children missed their classes as they could not trek to their schools.

 ‘More tricycles, more problem’

However, the proliferation of the Adaidaita Sahu is not without its own dangers especially their well-known reckless driving of the operators.

Also, its operation is beset with underage driving, over-speeding, road traffic violation, overloading and being used as cover for criminals.

Muhammad Babangida said the rate at which underage children ride Adaidaita Sahu and consequently drive recklessly was worrisome and calls for emergency public safety intervention.

He said, “I have seen, on many occasions, children of about 15 years or even less carrying passengers. This is not acceptable anywhere due to public safety. Sometimes, you will encounter reckless driving or they even scratch your car, the moment you stop to talk to them you will see a small child.

“This is apart from using them to snatch phones or other people’s belongings. And, if they are driving, they don’t use their appropriate lane; about six of them could cover a whole road and block other road users.”

But the KAROTA in a recent statement stated that the agency was doing everything possible to ensure that the issue of underage driving was properly addressed.

The Managing Director of the agency, Baffa Babba Dan’agundi warned that any child caught driving would be arrested, fined and the vehicle would be seized just as reckless driving and overspeeding would also be dealt with.

On his part, the Chairman, Kano State Tricycle Associations Forum (KASTAF), Alhaji Mansur Tanimu said they were doing everything possible to address the challenges by liaising with security agencies and tricycle owners to ensure they put an end to the trend.

On how they were able to phase out taxis and buses from Kano streets, the KASTAF Chairman said it was as a result of Kano being “like a free market place.”

“No one can count the number of tricycles in Kano State. In fact, whenever the riders are frustrated from any state, Kano is usually their next destination because Kano is like a free marketplace for all,” he said.

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