LAGOS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

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Aerial view of the newly built Overpass of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line project at Yaba, commissioned by Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, 02 November 2023. Inset (l-r): Managing Director, LAMATA, Engr. (Mrs) Abimbola Akinajo; Olu of Iwaya, Oba Suleimon Owolabi; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Onisabe of Igbobi-Sabe, Oba Owolabi Adeniyi; Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and others.

Rasak Musbau

Lagos State is, no doubt, a reference point in terms of the initiation and execution of strategic policies and programmes that are meant to uplift the living standard of the people.

Presently, the State government is steadily, but surely building a foundation for the progress of the State. This is being done with varied futuristic policies targeting the development of the state’s public infrastructure and utilities.

It is against this backdrop that Lagos has been working on the development of an integrated transport sector to address the growing transportation needs of its population and to improve overall mobility in the city.

The government has recognized the importance of integrating various modes of transportation to create a more efficient and sustainable urban transport system.

In the last four and a half years, the passion and seriousness of the government is not in doubt. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has made significant efforts to develop the transport sector in the state. Several initiatives have been implemented to alleviate traffic congestion, improve public transportation, and enhance overall mobility within the city.

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Lagos, has been a significant focus of development under the current administration. The BRT system, which is aimed at providing efficient and reliable public transportation, has been expanded and improved to help address the city’s traffic and transportation challenges.

Some of the initiatives and expansions related to the BRT system under the Sanwo-Olu administration include the expansion of BRT routes.

The administration has been working to expand the BRT network to cover more areas of the city. This expansion involves the creation of new BRT routes and the extension of existing routes to serve additional neighbourhoods and destinations.

Secondly, it has also been focused on introducing new buses to the BRT fleet, with a focus on modern, comfortable, and environmentally friendly vehicles. The introduction of new buses aims to improve the quality of service and increase the system’s capacity to serve more passengers. These buses offer increased seating capacity and improved comfort for commuters.

Also, the government has been investing in improving the infrastructure supporting the BRT system, including dedicated bus lanes, bus stops, and terminals. These improvements are intended to enhance the efficiency and reliability of the BRT service.

Efforts have equally been made to integrate the BRT system with other modes of public transportation. The introduction of feeder buses and improved connections with other forms of transit to provide a seamless and comprehensive public transportation network for the city is part of the efforts.

The Sanwo-Olu’s administration has also prioritized the rehabilitation and expansion of road infrastructure across the state. This includes efforts to repair existing roads, expand road networks, and construction of new roads, bridges, and flyovers to ease traffic congestion and improve connectivity.

Efforts have also been made to promote water transportation as a viable alternative to road-based travel. Some of the initiatives of the administration under water transportation include the introduction of new ferry routes and the refurbishment of existing terminals to enhance the efficiency and safety of water transportation services.

The administration had embarked on the procurement of new, modern ferries to improve the water transportation system in Lagos. These ferries were intended to provide safer and more efficient transportation options for residents and reduce traffic congestion on the roads.

Jetties have also been upgraded. Improved jetties make it easier for passengers to access water transport services and improve the overall efficiency of the system.

The Sanwo-Olu led-government has also expressed its commitment to partnering with private sector stakeholders to boost investment in water transportation infrastructure and services. Public-Private Partnership (PPP) could help bring in expertise and resources to improve the quality and reach of water transportation in the state.

These efforts were part of the broader goal of the government to promote multimodal transportation and reduce the heavy reliance on road transportation, which often leads to traffic congestion and related challenges.

The government has also embraced technology to improve the efficiency of transportation services. Initiatives such as the Lagos Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) mobile app have been introduced to facilitate real-time traffic monitoring and management.

It has also encouraged the use of non-motorized transport modes, such as cycling and walking, by investing in dedicated bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure.

Other pieces of evidence of the strides made by the administration in the development of the transport sector are the deliveries of Lagos Blue and Red Line Rails. There are, perhaps, no other States that have done anything close to what Lagos has achieved in this direction.

The Lagos Light Rail project is a significant urban transportation initiative aimed at providing a modern and efficient mass transit system for Lagos, Nigeria.

Overall, these efforts are part of a broader vision to transform the transport sector in Lagos State, addressing the challenges of urban mobility, congestion, and accessibility while promoting sustainable and integrated transport solutions. These efforts reflect a commitment to sustainable urban development and economic growth in Africa’s largest city.

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