.commends Tinubu for initiative
Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu on Monday assured residents that the construction of redline light rail system from Ebute Metta to Agbado, would be ready by the end of 2023 as the project is 95 per cent completed.
Sanwo-Olu, disclosed this while briefing the media after he officially flagged-off the blue light rail passenger operation, in company of his deputy, Dr. Femi Hamzat, who earlier made inaugural ride on the rail from CMS Terminal to Mile-2 Station in Lagos.
The apparently, elated Governor, said that the flyover being constructed for the Red Line would be commissioned and opened gradually beginning from the end of this month so that passengers and motorists can start using the facilities.The Ikeja-Along Bridge, Yaba, Oyingbo and others.
According to him, “The train stations will also be unveiled also one after the other, the rolling stock is being retrofitted already. We are just putting finishing touches to the project.”
Sanwo-Olu’s added that the red line will be much bigger than the blue line rail.
The governor, and his deputy, boarded the train at exactly 9.10 am for a ride to Mile-2 station.
Sanwo-Olu, who boarded from the first coach and walked to the seventh coach, operating as the Head Train operation, took time to explain the requirements to board the train to the passgers, appealing to residents not to cross the rail line as it’s electrified which could lead to electrocution.
He added that apart from the Cowry card, passengers can also access the train with the use of LAG-ID of the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency, LASRRA, after topping it with enough adequate account, making it a cashless service.
Sanwo-Olu, commended President Bola Tinubu’s vision, whose administration conceptualised the project before coming to reality.
The governor, was also accompanied by Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin, All Progressives Congress Chairman in Lagos, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi, ex-APC Chairman, Tunde Balogun, former Deputy Governor, Femi Pedro, former Speaker of the House of Assembly Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, wife of the governor, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, among other top government officials. Students were also on the inaugural train service.
The ride from the Marina Terminal to Mile-2 takes about 25 minutes, with 90 seconds stoppage at each of the
five stations before the final destination.
Some of the passengers who rode along with the governor described the first experience as “wholesome, wonderful,” urging government to embrace maintenance culture with the system.
Mr. Gbenga Adeleye, a passenger, recounted his experience as “wholesome,” commending the state government for the laudable project.
“This is a welcome development and a relief for residents after a long delay of the project which has long been overdue.
“It is safe, realiable and less time consuming because you can arrive at your destination at particular time.
“My advice to the government is to ensure good maintenance culture for sustainability.”
CSO hails initiative
A civil society organization Centre for Social and Economic Rights, CSER, has congratulated the government and residents over the successful inauguration of the blue line rail on Monday.
Commenting on the system, Executive Director. CSER, Nelson Ekujumi, expressed delight and solidarity with the government and people of the state “for being witnesses to an historic and life transforming project which has further affirmed Lagos as a pacesetter and benchmark for good governance in sub-saharan Africa.”
According to CSER, “We feel highly elated and give glory to God as we congratulate and commend Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu led administration for it’s tenacity, determination and commitment to the vision of the Lagos of our dreams incubated by political giants and his predecessors in office in persons of late Alhaji Lateef Jakande, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and Akinwunmi Ambode, in bringing this monumental project to reality in our lifetime.
“With the first of it’s kind electric powered intra city 13 kilometre light rail in sub-saharan Africa, the economic and social wellbeing of Lagosians will be transformed and enhanced and it’s status as a smart and clean energy friendly city cemented in history.”
The group then called on residents to take ownership of the life changing infrastructure and ensure that all safety measures put in place for efficient operations are voluntarily complied with for a Rising Lagos.”
Blue line features
Meanwhile, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transportation Authoritily, LAMATA, Managing Director, Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, had earlier, explained that from Tuesday, partial passenger operations will start from 6:30am to 10am. (Morning peak) the afternoon Peak, from 4pm to 9:30pm.
This operations will start with 12 trips for two weeks which will be ramped up to 76 trips per day.
The long-awaited Blue Line Rail project is being constructed by the Lagos State Government and supervised by Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, as part of the development and improved intermodal transport system on the state.
The project is being constructed by a Chinese Firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC.
The official commencement date which has been shifted several times is expected to bring alot of relief to teeming Lagos populace, particularly as palliative with the prevailing economic situation brought about by the Federal Government fuel subsidy removal which led to increase in pump price to an all time high N600 and above per litre.
The rail line was started by the former administration of Babatunde Fashola more than 12 years ago. But the first phase – 13km (Marina to Mile 2) on the Lagos-Badagry corridor is being completed by the Sanwo-Olu’s administration.