Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday performed the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the 37 km Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line, which will traverse Agbado to Marina, and projected to move more than one million commuters daily.
The rail system, which is expected to be completed by next year, will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will share tracks with the federal government-owned Lagos-Ibadan railway line up to Ebute-Metta. It will have its dedicated track from Ebute-Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes. The passenger capacity of the first phase is 500,000 daily, it was learnt.
The ceremony was held at the proposed site of the Ikeja Train Station. It was witnessed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh.
The Red Line, which will be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022, is a project of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), and will have eight train stations from Agbado to Oyingbo.
The Red Line is to raise mass transportation capacity in the state, complementing the Blue Line that traverses from Okokomaiko to Marina. The Blue Line is at 78 per cent completion.
Sanwo-Olu, who was at the event with the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, handed cheque to property owners affected by the right of way, describing the project as another initiative of his administration to deliver enduring infrastructure for the transport system as well as make Lagos a competitive mega city.
He said the traffic management and transportation pillar in his government development blueprint-Project THEMES-was being implemented with the goal to develop an efficient and sustainable transportation model that would improve mobility, promote economic growth and enhance the living conditions of residents of the state.
According to the governor, “Today’s flag-off of the construction of infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line is another promise kept, and it demonstrates, in practical terms, our commitment to achieving the objectives of traffic management and transportation pillar in our development agenda. This is because we recognise the role which an efficient transportation system plays in enhancing people’s quality of life and as a major driver of socio-economic development.