Hope of an intermodal integrated transport system in Lagos was rekindled yesterday as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu flagged the commencement of civil works for the first phase of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line project, anticipated to move half a million passengers daily when it goes into operation fourth quarter of 2022.
Twenty eight kilometres of the 37-kilometre rail road would be completed for passenger operation in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Governor Sanwo-Olu described the rail project as very germane to the promotion and development of the state, improve the mobility of the people and enhance their lifestyle.
The Red Line components include construction of new train stations at Oyingbo, Yaba, Mushin, Oshodi, Ikeja, Agege, Iju and Agbado, four over bridges at Oyingbo, Yaba, Mushin and Ikeja while the Federal Government would construct those of Jibowu, Ilupeju, Sogunle Jonathan Coker and Agbado.
Governor Sanwo-Olu stated that the state’s transport projects implementation was controlled by a Strategic Transport Master plan which detailed a number of strategic decisions useful to achieving the administration’s vision for a Greater Lagos.
“These imperatives include increasing transport choices for all users, make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible, reduce urban transportation-induced emissions, optimise usage of current road network, integrate land use development (urban physical planning) and urban transport planning and secure long term financing of investment plan, he stated.
He added: “Our choices for an integrated transportation system are very clear. This is why we would continue to search for every available means of funding for our transport infrastructure as we have strengthened our resolve to ensure that by 2022, we have two rail lines operational and initiate the construction of another two more lines in partnership with the private sector.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu explained that the Red Line would demonstrate government’s ability to achieve integration of transport modes, saying “some of the unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi – Abule-Egba Bus Rapid Transit, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.”
“Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Termini at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure,” he stated.
In fulfilment of government promise to compensate those to be affected by the project, Governor Sanwo-Olu gave cheques to project affected persons, noting that the payment was the demonstration of government sincerity.
He appealed to Lagosians to bear with the government as the state grapple with development to make it competitive.
Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo assured that the Red Line would begin passenger operation in the fourth quarter of 2021, informing that the project would not be challenged by any funding gaps.
“Mr. Governor has ensured that funding for the project is ring fenced and available. I want to assure Mr. Governor and all our distinguished guests that the Red line is on track to start passenger operations in the fourth quarter of 2022,” she stated.
She informed that “As part of this project, we will be constructing four (4) vehicular overpasses at Oyingbo, Yaba, Mushin and Ikeja, build three (3) additional pedestrian bridges at Ikeja, Mushin and Oyingbo, build eight (8) rail stations at Agbado, Agege, Iju, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba, Oyingbo and two stabling yards at Agbado and Iddo as well as build our dedicated tracks from Ebute Metta Junction to Oyingbo.
Mrs. Akinajo said the Red Line symbolized a major bold step Governor Sanow-Olu had taken to keep his electoral promises as captured in his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. developmental agenda pointing out that it would have salutary effect on commuting in the way Lagosians travel as it would cut down travel time considerably.