Sanwo-Olu unveils15 OmiBus boats to boost urban transportation

By Adeola Ogunrinde

As part of efforts to enhance the daily transit experience for residents through safer, faster, and more comfortable trips, the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, added 15 OmiBus boats to the state’s multi-modal urban transportation system on Wednesday.

Sanwo-Olu said the 40-passenger modern boats—the first phase of the planned 25 boats—were fully built locally, except for their engines, with an eye on improving inland waterways transportation and setting standards.

According to him, the expansion of the water transport infrastructure is meant to achieve a more efficient, sustainable, and accessible transportation system, reflecting the government’s unwavering dedication to progress and innovation.

He explained that riding in the boat took 27 minutes from Falomo to Badore, for a journey that would have taken about an hour.

Noting that the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has distributed 20,000 live jackets in the past year towards enhanced safety, he tasked private operators to stick to safety regulations, including time of movement and passenger capacity, to ensure safety.

Towards safety and reliability on waterways in the state’s entire multimodal transport system, he said the state has made significant investments in jetties and other marine infrastructure, as well as road construction and rehabilitation, while the Cowry Card payment system enhances integration.

Sanwo-Olu further urged the general public to use the boats and keep them neat as part of their part in maintaining public infrastructure and contributing to keeping government property safe while ensuring its sustainable use.

He commended Carverton Marine, the builders of the boats, for their commitment and delivery of the boats.

On his part, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Seun Osiyemi, said the new Omi-Bus Ferries are a testament to the collective commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Lagos residents.

“The Omi-Bus Ferries project is not just about improving transportation; it is about transforming the way we live and move; it is about connecting communities, fostering economic growth, and reducing the stress and congestion that often characterise our daily commutes.”

He added that the ferries have modern amenities and safety features that “ensure passengers a comfortable and secure journey, heralding a new era of convenience and efficiency in Lagos.

Earlier, the General Manager of LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, said the launch of the Nigeria-made modern ferries showed the state’s dedication to developing water transport and that LASWA is aligned with this approach in setting standards for inland waterways infrastructure and services across the nation.

According to him, through safety awareness strategies, LASWA has significantly increased ridership figures, reduced waterway accidents, and facilitated multi-modal transport connections and integration at several jetties by introducing the Cowry Cards payment solution, Last-Mile Transfer Buses, and Park-and-Ride facilities.

More so, with a state-of-the-art Waterways Monitoring and Data Management Centre, LASWA is committed to providing reliable services and is the ideal agency for providing reliable data, research materials, and accurate time information on Lagos inland waterways, as well as ensuring ferry services as a sustainable means of transportation in the state.

“These unique modern boats are equipped with revolutionary technology to ensure all commuters’ safety, comfort, and convenience.

“They represent our commitment to sustainability, resilience, and innovation, featuring eco-friendly designs that minimise environmental impact,” he added.

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