Metro News Nigeria

Lagos Test-run First Phase of Lagos Blue Rail Mass Transit

Following the completion of the first phase of Lagos Blue Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) scheme which covered Marina-Mile 2 the state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat , the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa and many other prominent Lagosians yesterday did a test run of the rail system from the National Theatre Station in Iganmu to Marina.

Speaking during a ceremony to mark the completion of rail infrastructure, the governor said the project which was first of its kind in Nigeria and first to be embarked upon by sub nationals in Africa was a promise kept, saying Lagosians will benefit more from his administration.

He, however, said the official opening will be in January 2023 by President Muhammadu Buhari when the second phase covering Mile 2 to Okokomaiko will commence.

The Blue Rail Mass Transit line is a 27km project spanning Mile 2, Iganmu, Marina, Alaba and Okokomaiko.

The five stations have been completed, with 13km of the rail tracks laid in the first phase. This first phase will transport 250,000 passengers daily and, when completed, the entire 27km will transport about 500,000 passengers daily. Each train comprises four coaches and each coach can take up to 180 passengers conveniently.

“This milestone in the development of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit is the culmination of several impactful reforms in the transport ecosystem of Lagos State, starting in 1999, the dawn of the fourth Republic, when Asiwaju Bola Tinubu assumed office as the governor.

“Our vision for an integrated transport system is enunciated in the Traffic Management and Transportation pillar of our T.H.E.M.E.S agenda. Our transportation strategy is a multimodal one, bringing together the various elements of road, rail, and water, and ensuring they are seamlessly integrated.

‘’Coincidentally, Marina is central to our integrated multimodal transport system, being a melting pot for all the transportation modes. I am happy to announce that we will be developing Marina into an integrated transport interchange, with the support of the French Development Agency (AFD).

“I am also happy to inform you that the three train sets for the commercial passenger operations for the Blue Line are a lready on ground.

“I want to also place on record the role played by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The CBN’s Differentiated Cash Reserves Requirement (DCRR) made it possible for Fidelity, Sterling and Access banks to pool resources together to provide credit financing for the completion of this first phase of the Blue Line. I am grateful to the leadership of the three banks for believing in us.

“To all of you the good people of Lagos, thank you for your patience, for bearing with us in the face of all the inconveniences thrown up by the implementation of the Light Rail network. This project is for you, please ensure you safeguard it.

“You should also bear in mind that this rail system is powered by electricity and must therefore not be trespassed in any way. Crossing the tracks is no longer an option, and the issue of vandalism in any form should not even arise at all. Pedestrian bridges have been provided to enable you to cross from one side to the other.’’

“To the glory of God, it is now my pleasure to formally announce the completion of the infrastructure for the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Blue Line. We will now begin test-running of the line in preparation for its commissioning for commercial passenger operations in the first quarter of 2023”, Sanwo-Olu said.

Also speaking, the Managing Director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo described the project as a manifestation of the ‘audacious mind and courage of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and members of the State Executive Council’.

According to her, the Blue Line is one of the six rail lines articulated in the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), a brainchild of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate and former Lagos governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

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