About 1.6 million individuals are transported on Lagos roads, each day. With overstretched infrastructure and amenities, particularly within the transport sector, the necessity for diversification turns into crucial. Amid the challenges commuters face day-to-day, MUYIWA LUCAS examines the choices accessible to the common Lagosian.
It has change into the “new regular.” The reign of the brand new Coronavirus is steadily altering the face of transportation in Lagos State. In contrast to the same old ugly transportation scene within the state, and in addition the nation, which the late Afro-Beat king Fela Anikulapo Kuti captured as “49 sitting, 99 standing”, in regards to the jam-packing of passengers in industrial buses, COVID-19 has led to a brand new order.
Lately, industrial buses are mandated to hold 50 per cent or much less of their whole capability. Arising from this, a number of autos now run on the street working as industrial transporters. Nonetheless, the price of transportation has greater than doubled, thereby consuming deeper into the pockets of the overstretched commuters.
Stakeholders within the transportation trade, nevertheless, opined that the current transportation scenario within the state additional accentuates the necessity for the federal government to make sure that the state opens up different technique of transportation to the general public to facilitate ease of motion.
Such initiatives, they contend, would additionally entail that correct infrastructure is put in place to make sure its effectivity. Presently, the street infrastructure within the state is overstretched, resulting in congestion and gridlock which have change into main options of public transportation within the city-state.
For Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu /Dr. Obafemi Hamzat administration, visitors administration and transportation was the very first pillar of their THEMES Agenda. Within the phrases of the Governor: “Provision of roads and significant infrastructure stays the cornerstone of this administration’s Growth Agenda, referred to as Venture T.H.E.M.E.S.”
So, how properly has the state authorities responded to this problem contemplating that it was a part of its fulcrum within the current administration’s build-up to ascension to energy?
“Our aim is to develop a dependable intermodal system of transportation. That’s the reason we’re investing within the waterways and lightweight rail system in order that we are able to transfer folks not solely on the street however on water and rail. The blue line might be accomplished quickly and we could have an entire built-in city transportation system,” Sanwo-Olu instructed stakeholders.
With Lagos now a mega-city, the necessity for prime capability buses for motion of individuals from one level to a different has change into needed. It will enhance the turnaround time of the financial system and most significantly ease visitors. In addition to, to make sure this scheme is well-grounded, the state governor signed an Government Order limiting the motion of business bikes, referred to as okada and industrial tricycle Keke Napep in six native authorities areas and 9 native council growth areas. To fill the noticeable area created within the transport sector by the order, the Sanwo-Olu administration rolled out 65 excessive capability buses to enhance the present fleet.
Water our bodies and wetlands cowl over 40 per cent of Lagos State, with lagoons and creeks accounting for over 22 per cent of this.
In keeping with Sanwo-Olu, fixing the Lagos transportation drawback requires a multimodal strategy.
To reinforce this, the federal government formally inaugurated industrial waterways transportation with the official launch of eight velocity boats. All of the boats have comfy seats, inbuilt Wi-Fi and fashionable technological gadgets that may help clean operations and security.
Three of the boats have 60-passenger capability; two have been constructed to hold 50 passengers, whereas two others have capacities for 40 passengers. Additionally, three others may convey 30 passengers; 4 will carry 25 passengers whereas two will carry 25 passengers.
The six routes the boats will largely ply embody Ikorodu to Falomo; Ikorodu to Ebute-Ero and Marina; Ebute Ero to Ijegun Egba, Apapa and Marina; Bayeku to Oke Ira Nla and Falomo; Mile 2 to Marina, and Badore to Ijede.
The launch of the velocity boats, which is being operated by the Lagos Ferry Companies (LAGFERRY), successfully marked the graduation of business operations in waterways transportation by LAGFERRY.
Along with the boats, a cellular utility designed to facilitate easy accessibility to water transportation providers was additionally launched. Stakeholders agreed it was a exceptional method ahead within the technique to ship an efficient and built-in inter-modal transportation system in addressing the perennial challenge of visitors congestion on the roads.
To maintain the momentum, extra jetties are being constructed in addition to the supply of extra fashionable ferry boats to create alternatives for extra personal sector participation in water transportation. Plans are additionally in prime gear to double the capability within the LAGFERRY’s fleet from 14 to 30 boats. There are additionally plans to construct fashionable jetties in Badagry, Lekki, and Ajegunle, simply because the one being in-built ljegun would quickly be accomplished. Additionally, LAGFERRY is about to increase its providers to all 40 water routes licensed for Lagos.
THE BLUE LINE RAIL
The federal government’s built-in mass transportation initiative has additionally recorded large progress with the profitable completion of the elevated sea-crossing observe of the Blue Line Mass Transit mission. Development work has since begun on the ultimate section. The mission is vital to the achievement of the administration’s prioritised pillar of visitors administration and transportation in its six-point growth agenda.
The development of the Blue Line Rail tracks was applied in strict adherence to the state’s Strategic Transport Grasp Plan, which prescribes six rail strains and one monorail for the long-term strategic targets of the state. The goal is to scale back the journey time by way of an efficient and environment friendly inter-modal transport system.
Certainly, the completion of the 380-meter lengthy constant bar extension of the ocean crossing for the Blue Line mission has heightened hopes in regards to the completion of the mission.
THE 4TH MAINLAND BRIDGE
Although the journey of the 4th Mainland Bridge started a number of years in the past, it has change into a prime precedence of the Governor Babajide Sanwo -Olu administration due to its significance to the state and the nation.
Up to now, 10 corporations out of the 32 which submitted Expression of Curiosity within the mission have glad the prescribed necessities. The proposed 38km bridge is essential as a result of it’s to serve as a substitute path to the Japanese a part of Lagos and ease visitors congestions alongside main highways.
The bridge is to be made up of eight interchanges to facilitate efficient interconnectivity amongst totally different elements of the state. It will be a four-lane twin carriageway with every comprising three lanes and two meters onerous shoulder on either side. It is going to be constructed with a beneficiant median to permit for each future carriageway enlargement and lightweight rail facility.
In keeping with Hamzat, the bridge will present the requisite transportation help to the quickly growing Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe hall of the state.
Hamzat additional defined: “The proposed alignment of the bridge will go by way of Lekki, Langbasa and Baiyeku cities alongside the shoreline of the Lagos Lagoon estuaries, additional operating by way of Igbogbo River Basin and crossing the Lagos Lagoon estuaries to Itamaga space in Ikorodu.
“The alignment may also cross by way of the Itoikin Highway and the Ikorodu Sagamu Highway to attach lsawo inward Lagos Ibadan Expressway at Ojodu-Berger axis. The bridge, amongst others, would accommodate cyclists, pedestrians, two service areas in addition to a further pedestrian crossing. The importance of the bridge might be completely treasured once we think about what the Lagos of immediately would seem like with out the third Mainland Bridge,” he mentioned.
Already, the funding in ferry providers is starting to yield the specified outcomes. The Managing Director, LAGFERRY, Mr AbdoulBaq Balogun mentioned the corporate’s goal is to maneuver 480,000 folks each day on the waterways of the state.
“With about 1.6 million folks shifting on Lagos roads daily, we’re being tasked with the accountability of guaranteeing that we transfer a minimum of 30 per cent of those motorists off the roads by way of the waterways. That offers us about 480,000 passengers.
“So, shifting 480,000 passengers is our each day goal on the waterways of Lagos State. Mr Governor is focusing his power on guaranteeing a multi-modal transport system with the abundance of water our bodies now we have. We’re shifting folks and items on nice expertise by way of the inland waterways.
“The administration is in search of methods to decongest the heavy Lagos visitors and tapping into the potential of inland water transport,” he mentioned.
Consultants in transportation agree that with an environment friendly intermodal transport community, higher days are forward for the state and the folks.