Due to the increased level of robbery, kidnapping and killing along the Abuja to Kaduna road, many travelers have opted to travel by train instead of the road. Because of this recent development, the number of travelers that use the train has also increased rapidly.
Getting a train ticket is now much harder and difficult than it used to be. The pictures attached here show how passengers queue to get the ticket. The number of passengers here is more than the train carrying capacity. Some left their house as early as 4:30 am in order to arrive on time and get a ticket. Early arrival is not even a guarantee they will get the ticket. So many passengers that have an engagement in Kaduna or Abuja have to plan ahead now.
According to reports, ticket officers are selling an unofficial tickets called standing ticket. The ticket will not be recorded in the account book. Not only that, the number of ticket racketeers has also increased. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), arrested 11 suspects last week. The commission got an intelligent report and swung into action immediately. The suspects include ticket reps and securities.
How the Ticket racketeers Operate
They will come before the ticket counter will open and leave after the train departs. According to sources, they increase the price of the ticket to any amount they wish because passengers are always ready to pay. A ticket of 1,500 may be sold above the official price. The ticket officers at the station issue ticket to the racketeers who in turn sell to travellers at a higher price.
The Abuja – Kaduna train management has failed to increase the number of security personals at the stations despite the increased number of passengers. After the purchase of a ticket, passengers will wait till when it is boarding time before they will be allowed to pass the security checks. There is lots of disorganization and many more. This shows that management is not interested in the safety of riders.
There is a need to profer solutions to the increased number of riders. In light of this, the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has added two more coaches to the Abuja to Kaduna route.
Apart from this additional coaches, there is a need to have an online train ticket platform. It will go a long way to reduce corruption, ticket racketing, stress, time and many more. Passengers will no longer come to the station to make bookings. At the comfort of their home, they can make a reservation and also check if there are seats available. travellers can also see train schedule at from anywhere and decide when to book.
The Nigeria railway corporation needs to provide a ticket machine that can allow passengers to insert their debit card, select route, make payment and print out there ticket with ease. It is time to move from the traditional method of booking train in Nigeria.
Photos Credit: Sahara Reporters