BRT is a transport option, which relies on the use of dedicated ‘interference’ free segregated lanes to guarantee fast and reliable bus travel
BRT means Bus Rapid Transit
BRT is a transport option, which relies on the use of dedicated ‘interference’ free segregated lanes to guarantee fast and reliable bus travel. It is a high-performance public transport bus service which aims to combine bus lanes with high-quality bus stations, vehicles, amenities, and branding to achieve the performance and quality of a light rail or metro system, with the flexibility, cost, and simplicity of a bus system.
The BRT buses run on physically segregated lanes and thus make them faster in a situation where there is traffic congestion. It is one of the several options available for tackling the huge public transport predicaments of Lagos.
Advantages of a BRT system
- It will reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and meet the mobility needs, particularly of the less privileged and poor masses of the Lagos metropolis.
- It is a roadway-based system that looks and behaves like a subway, offering high capacity rapid transit services but on dedicated lanes or city streets.
- Guaranty a fast and reliable travel time – When operating in exclusive running ways or dedicated lanes, BRT systems can run at faster speeds than conventional buses in regular traffic and even as fast as light rail. By offering frequent service and avoiding traffic-related delays, BRT systems can provide riders with a more reliable travel time
Following the socio-economic impacts and success of the Mile 12 – CMS BRT system on the lives of Lagosians, particularly businesses and residents along and within the corridor, there have been clamour for the replication of the system along other corridors in the state. LAMATA has plans to implement the BRT system strategically along eight different corridors within the metropolis.
The Mile 12 – Ikorodu Town BRT Extension has been conceived to extend BRT service from Mile 12 to Ikorodu Town while also improving the Ikorodu road network infrastructure. The existing roadway consists of a 2- lane dual carriageway linking Mile 12 Area to the fast growing Ikorodu town. It is presently in a deplorable condition with perennial flooding. The Lagos State Government is desirous of this project which includes major civil works and provision of complimentary BRT infrastructures. The corridor covers a distance of about 13.5km.The width of the existing road is a 7.5 metres, with central median of 2m width. The BRT is designed to be implemented as median running with bilateral bus stations configurations linked to pedestrian bridges for pedestrian access. Two new lanes will be constructed to accommodate the new BRT system.
The 22 km Mile 12 – CMS pilot Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Lite scheme commissioned by His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on March 17, 2008 is the flagship of LAMATA’s bus services reforms and first example of a comprehensive and integrated approach to improving public transport in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
The first phase of the Lagos BRT, which is already running from Mile 12 through Ikorodu Road and Funsho Williams Avenue up to CMS started, runs a 16 – hour operations from 6.00 a.m to 10 p.m. every day. The system uses 220 buses to move more than 200,000 passengers daily. In the last five years of operations, the BRT system has moved more than 400 million passengers.
The overall objective of the Lagos BRT system is ‘to improve mobility and transport affordability in the city of Lagos through regulatory reform and facilitation of person movement on major corridors through a combination of traffic management and implementation of a high quality, high performance bus rapid transit system’.
The Mile 12-CMS pilot BRT Lite scheme was implemented by PPP whereby LAMATA provided the enabling framework and infrastructure comprising bus depot garage, 3 bus terminals, 65% segregated bus ways, 28 bus shelters, road markings and other traffic management measures while the selected private sector operator (First BRT Cooperative Limited) accepted regulatory enforcement, commitment to procurement of buses, operations and maintenance. Ecobank provided financing of N1 billion for the operator to procure initial 100 buses deployed and LASG invested a substantial sum of N4.5b on the BRT infrastructure.
The operation is guided by a set of regulations approved by the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) and signed into law by the Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola. The regulations restrict all yellow buses and other articulated and heavy-duty buses to the service lanes. The BRT Lite scheme currently operates a total number of 220 Ashok Leyland high floor capacity buses along Mile 12-TBS corridor from 6:00am-10:00pm daily. Over 900 bus pilots/bus officers and 57 inspectors/monitoring officers were employed for BRT operations.
The pilot BRT Lite scheme has performed creditably since operations commenced in March 2008;
- Over 400 million passengers has been carried in the last five years
- Average daily ridership is 180,000 passengers
- Average Load factor of 800 passengers carried per bus daily
- Average daily trip per day is 5
- Average waiting time is 15 minutes
- Average speed is 30km/h
Impact on Users
User opinion of the BRT system is shown to be strongly positive in comparison to alternative modes of transport. Introduction of the Mile 12 -TBS pilot BRT Lite scheme has exceeded expectations. The scheme has impacted on a number of fronts: First, the scheme has exceeded patronage expectations. Average weekday patronage (180,000/day) exceeds planned estimates by 200%.
Second, passengers now enjoy a reduction of 30% in average fares and fare stability, 40% in journey time, 35% in average waiting time and reduction in exposure to robbery on public transport. Third, the scheme has attracted increased patronage from sectors that had hitherto shied away from public transport, namely children, car owning middle classes, the elderly and the less able.
Fourth, the scheme has created direct employment for over 1,000 people, mostly graduates and indirect employment to over 500,000 people in the state. Fifth, the scheme has demonstrated the capacity of local operators to run successful public transport operations and has subsequently generated intense interest from local banks and financiers and vehicle suppliers for other planned BRT schemes.
Sixth, it has demonstrated and confirmed the strategic role of public transportation in Lagos to the extent that planned state investment in the sub-sector has risen 50-fold. Seventh, preliminary figures suggest that the project has helped reduced ambient concentration of pollutants which are dangerous to human health along the corridor.
What are the benefits of the project?
A lot of benefits will come with the execution of this project. This includes:
- provision of affordable transportation,
- Better road network
- Public transport with faster and reliable journey times
- Clean and better quality busesi>
- Reduction in waiting time for buses with limited queues through improved bus frequencies
- Provision of a safe and secured transportation system
- Job creation with the project set to create over 2,000 direct jobs and 5, 000 indirect jobs.
- Provision of a regulated transport system where queries and complaints can be addressed
- Reduction in the number of unregulated public transport vehicles on the corridor
- Road side activities which slows down traffic prevented
- Improved lifestyle of people and businesses along the corridor with good linkage to major activity and recreation centres
- Better environment and less pollution with Green House Gas (GHG) along the corridor set to reduce by 16%.
Construction works and activities are ongoing and the project will be delivered by December 2014.