Standing In A Brt

Standing In A Brt

Why would anyone want to stand in a BRT? I once asked my best friend. We were comfortably seated in the bus and were prepared to relax for we were on our way home from Oshodi market where we had gone to shop. Bus Rapid Transit, popularly known as BRT (or as I liked to call it- Babatunde Raji Transport) was one of the comforts the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola had blessed us Lagosians with.

The bus was big and tidy, the seats were comfortable and the best part was that there were no sweaty, loud, unruly conductors. All you had to do when you reached your bus stop was to pull a cord to alert the driver. BRT was a welcome change and the sometimes too long queue couldn’t change my mind; it was the best thing that had happened to Lagosians since sliced bread. Who would not want to travel in comfort at a reasonable price? It was this question that made me eye with disgust a fellow passenger who was clutching at the bars in the bus to hold himself up. Why would anyone want to stand in a BRT when it was the same price to sit? I would rather sit in those beat up half dead danfo buses and suffer the saliva showers of the conductor and the sweaty armpits of other passengers than stand in a BRT surrounded by people who were comfortably seated. At least that’s what I thought.

Three years later, I was a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University waiting for my service year which was still five months away. I had applied for a temporary job as an independent marketer for Evermore Properties Investment Limited, a property firm and was on my way to Ikeja for my interview which was an hour away. I was first delayed because there were no okada’s to take me to the bus stop. When I finally got to the bus stop I was stunned by the terribly long queue waiting for the next BRT but I knew from experience that danfo buses going towards Ikeja were rather scarce in the mornings so I joined the queue. About twenty five minutes later an empty BRT bus pulled over but unfortunately it got filled before it was my turn to enter. I was faced with a dilemma- I had about fifteen minutes left to my appointment. I could either wait for the next BRT and get to my destination very late or I could stand in the available one and get to my interview a few minutes late. Since I wanted to make a good first impression and not get to my appointment too late, I took the latter option. It wasn’t until I was gripping the bars in the bus trying to stand upright that I remembered the statement I had so ignorantly uttered three years ago.

Why would anyone want to stand in a BRT? Now I knew why.


27 thoughts on “Standing In A Brt” by febby (@febby)

  1. @febby i liked the way you kept it short and simple…that made the story for me and the telling was good too…i think you need to come to Abuja and see how people stand in El-Rufai bussed, our own BRT…more standing than sitting…

    …suffer the saliva showers of the conductor [i think it should be FROM not OF]

    …Limited, a property firm [, COMMA] and was on my way to Ikeja for my interview which was an hour away [HOUR AWAY suggests location DUE IN AN HOUR’S TIME would be better].

    well done sire or ma’am?

    1. @xikay, guy, I like d way u get grammatical errors analyzed… U leave the writer staring at the truth! One of the many benefits of being on this site.
      @febby, xikay said most of the things I didn’t even see, I was lost in the thrills of ur piece. Nice job!!!

  2. Good story Febby, but it kinda reads more like an article than an actual story. Xikay already made vital corrections, do well to heed them.

  3. @xikay, am currently in abuja as per NYSC though i avnt taken brt here

    1. Welcome to our town! When u do, make sure u r seated… Na the dance moves while standing dey make me laugh, e no easy: u go fear swing na! Lolz

  4. @ scopeman & xikay, corrections heeded, thanks

  5. @ 4ran6, trust me i’ve done the dance. i’m rather short so standing was frustrating for me i was swaying with the bus,my hand couldnt reach the top bars so i had to hold the side ones…bottom line my wrists ached

    1. Lolz, u go fear that kain sway dance na!!! Kpele, I’m sure those seated had a very good show… Don’t tell me they didn’t pay u. If there’s a next time, charge before the sway begins.

  6. @febby you haven’t because you stay in the main city try visiting one of the satellite towns…in the morning when you try to get to the city around 8am your eyes will tell you the rest…

    1. LMAO, if u heed to xikay call, u could have ur wrists severed from ur forearms. If those seated pay for the show sha, u could be smiling from the hospital to the bank…

  7. @4ran6, have you ever opened a SARDINE tin?…that’s what its like…you stand a better chance of having your pocket picked than being physically harmed

    1. they wouldn’t b pickin ur pocket, they’d b payin for ur wonderful sway show! Just kidding, I feel u…

  8. @ 4ran6, lol
    @ xikay, ure right. i stay and work in the main city so i take a straight cab plus i’m still new in the city so i havent really explored

    1. u go fear exploration na!!! No go explore wey person plant bomb sha…

  9. willing to explore?…halla me an inbox message

  10. hya ha ha ha ha , u even observed that too late. But keep it up, its a wonderful story which kept US in suspence.

  11. This is a very simple, short and sweet story. I loved the way you told it. You managed a sort of simple suspense till the end and that’s good.

    Last year, I was in Abuja and I took those buses every morning at 6am from ‘Kwugba’ (hope I spelt it right) to Sheraton junction and it was quite interesting. In Lagos, done it one time, was interesting too. In Enugu, same thing too.

    One thing I like about those buses is that, it makes me feel as if I’m in a train. Was in Abuja last week, stayed in town so had to move about with taxis and it wasn’t as interesting as the early morning bus rides. So, standing or sitting, ‘BRT’ buses kinda works better for me.

    @febby – Thanks for sharing this nice piece. Really enjoyed reading it.

  12. thanks a lot y’all

  13. Omo, Ur story don turn forum on the wonders of BRT eh? hehehehe. I like the story cos it is brief and to the heart of the matter. Good job.

  14. What makes a short story good is not in complexities; simplicity scribbled with narrative-honesty is what makes a short story a good read. This is exactly what you’ve done to this. Well done, man.

  15. Ayo (@boringblogger)

    Simple and nice is all I can say…keep it up

  16. As others have said, this was simple and well written. I especially like the detail you applied to describing the BRT bus.

    I think the story would have worked even better if you had stretched out the tension in the decision that the MC had to make to sit and be late, or to stand and be early.

  17. the story is short and like most prolific writers of short stories will say (even bradbury): ‘in a short story something must happen but not too much’ something happened but it was subtle and it made sense…very very Good! i guess i’ll read your next story!

  18. @ tola, i see ur point, it actually would av. thanks
    @ stephen, my next story… that just mounted pressure on

  19. As in…

    But as in…

    Beautiful piece. Its always easy to utter criticism in ignorance…until the shoe is on the other foot!

    Nice one, Febby!

Leave a Reply