Commuters faced hard times in Asaba on Thursday as the ban on commercial motorcycle activities in some parts of Delta became effective.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no commercial motorcycle was seen on the roads in Asaba.
Commuters waited in the streets for cabs and tricycles and as a result drivers took the advantage of the scarcity of vehicles to raise fares.
Some commuters told NAN that in spite of assurances by the state government that measures had been taken to cushion the effect of the order, the effect was not felt.
Raheem Ayo, a public servant, said the situation had created more hardship for residents of the town.
He said tricycles provided by the government to replace motorcycles were not available.
Ayo said that besides the astronomical increase in fares, cab drivers were selective about the areas they plied and often preferred to operate on short routes.
Miss Ify Nnadozie, a civil servant, said the restriction on commercial motorcycles was unnecessary, as the usefulness of that transportation system could not be overemphasised.
She said that unlike motorcycles that took passengers to their door steps, cabs discharged passengers at street junctions and forced them to walk long distances to their destinations.
She said it would have been better to ensure that palliative measures put in place by the government were very functional and effective before enforcing the ban.
John Okocha, a tricycle operator, said the main challenge before tricycle operators was bad roads.
He said more than 85 per cent of the roads in Asaba were in very bad conditions.
Okocha called on the government to make the rehabilitation of roads across the state a priority if the new policy would must work.
NAN also reports that there was a heavy presence of security personnel enforcing the ban at major road junctions in the town.
Meanwhile, the police arrested some commercial motorcyclists, seized their bikes and took them to the police command headquarters.
A statement by the Delta State Government on October 24 had stated that violators of the ban faced either three months imprisonment or N50,000 fine or both.