By Olasunkanmi Akoni
All things being equal, the prevailing ordeal of motorists and other road users in the Mile Two and Marina parts of Lagos should be over in 18 months if the assurance recently given to that effect by the Managing Director Lagos Metropolitan Transport Management Authority, LAMATA, Dr. Dayo Mobereola, is anything to go by.
The LAMATA boss had anchored the promise on the expectation that the Mile 2-Marina blue line rail project would be ready for operation within the period. Mobereola, while speaking with Vanguard Metro, VM, after a talk-shop, organised by the Lagos State Governor’s Office Correspondents, LAGOCO, at the State Secretariat, Ikeja last week, explained that the all necessary papers had been perfected for the construction of the capital intensive rail project.
Speaking on the theme:“ LAMATA at 10: Challenges, Successes and Prospects,” Mobereola said: “Gradually, people of Lagos have been abandoning yellow commercial buses, called Danfo and Molue for Bus Rapid Transit, BRT.
According to him, Governor Babatunde Fashola, few days ago approved the design for the construction of Orile-Iganmu—Marina blue line, as part of the ongoing construction of 27 kilometres blue line rail from Okokomaiko-Marina.
“Already workers and equipment have been mobolised for the immediate construction of the corridor.
Mobereola, also, disclosed that when fully operational, the corridor is expected to convey over 400,000 passengers daily, thereby easing traffic on the road.
He explained: “We have been reducing waiting time at bus stops, the travel time within the metropolis and we equally reduced transport fare by 40 percent compared to the service being rendered by yellow painted buses. LAMATA, on behalf of Lagos State has developed a strategic transport master plan, a road map for achieving the modernisation of transport system of the entire state by the year 2030.
“The vision for metropolitan Lagos is to provide a modern integrated multi model transport that will make metropolitan Lagos a world class city and Africa’s model megacity.” According to him, “Lagos transportation system will collapse if LAMATA fails to plan ahead.”
He stated that “the agency had to draw a 20 year transportation developmental plan that covers bus, rail and ferry service including provision of good road infrastructure for BRT system to run well.” or trips to
Mobereola, who described the project as the first in the country, noted that it is one project that cannot be completed at once as people expected. He stressed that there is nowhere in the world where a metro line project is started and completed at once. “Even in Dubai, it took the authority eight years to complete it and it was done in phases.
All over the world, light rail system are done in phases and that is one idea we have copied in this regard. However, we have developed a 20 year development programme. We believed that Lagos needs seven rail lines and we are in the process of starting the Red Line light rail project that will run from Alagbado in Ogun State to Marina, Lagos.
We also believed that Lagos still needs nine BRT routes and we are talking with the state government to ensure commercial centres are put in place on the Mainland to reduce the number of people travelling to Lagos Island on daily basis,” he said.
Mobereola, also said there were plans to construct ring-roads across the metropolis to ensure that heavy duty vehicles, particularly oil tankers can reach Apapa Port without plying major roads in the metropolis.