by Ajadi Daniel
The Lagos Rail Mass Transit is an initiative of the Lagos State government through the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).
The LRMT is said to be a major component of the Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP) which according to LAMATA is a 30 year plan put together under series of intensive researches, studies and analyses of future transportation demands and needs of Lagos State as Nigeria’s commercial and economic hub and one of the world’s fastest growing mega cities.
This Urban Rail Network consists of seven railway lines planned along priority and high commuter demand corridors within the Lagos metropolis. The network according to LAMATA is fully integrated with planned and existing water transport and BRT routes. The lines are:
Blue Line- Okokomaiko to Marina
Red Line- Agbado to Marina via Iddo and Muritala Mohammed International Airport
Other routes for development are:
Green Line-Marina to Lekki (Airport)
Yellow Line- Otta to Iddo
Purple Line- Redeem to Ojo
Orange Line- Redeem to Marina
Brown Line- Mile 12 to Marina
The above route are components of Lagos Urban Rail Network (LURN), the corridors covered are of high commuter traffic demand within and beyond metropolitan Lagos extending to border areas with States like Ogun and Oyo.
The railway equipment includes electric power, signaling, rolling stock, and fare collection equipment, these would be provided by the private sector under a concession contract.
LAMATA is responsible for policy direction, regulation, and infrastructure for the network. The first section of the network (Phase I of the Blue Line) was Originally scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of 2014, it was however announced earlier this year that operations will officially start in December 2016, but presently the project is still ongoing, and there are reports that operation would not start until next year, 2017.
Lagos is setting the pace and revolutionizing, though belated but better than never. It is however important that the State begin to look at forward and backward linkage, which means that the project must be deliberately aimed at stimulating Lagos economy in all ramifications.
Every part of the state must be linked to each other with a modernised road structure and effective transport system that makes various alternatives available to the commuters, thus putting an end to the road centric transport system which has plagued the State for ages.
This obviously is the mandate of LAMATA, and they have made progress with the BRT buses, working on other areas should not be difficult, especially in the light of the fact of the mega city status of Lagos.
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