The Lagos State Government on Tuesday inaugurated Oshodi-Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system infrastructure, geared at moving 60,000 passengers daily.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said at the inauguration that the project was very significant because of its immense benefits to Lagos residents in different communities and to visitors to the state.
Sanwo-Olu said that the new BRT corridor would bring great relief to over 60,000 commuters who would use the facility daily.
He said that travel time, which was estimated at an average of two hours during peak periods, would be significantly reduced to an average of about 30 minutes.
According to him, this will translate to improved health of the people, a safer environment, and increased value of socio-economic activities in the state.
He said that the completion of the project, which was started by the past administration, was one of the dividends of the present administration’s investment in the transport sector for efficient traffic management and transportation.
”A little over a year ago, the administration pledged to significantly improve traffic management and transportation system.
”Today, we are here to formally flag-off a very important transport infrastructure – the Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
”We are also here to unveil 550 high and medium capacity buses, launch the commencement of transport operation on the Oshodi–Abule Egba BRT corridor and inaugurate our upgraded e-ticketing system in fulfilment of our pledge.
”Although our promise was to deliver this project in May this year, it had to be shifted forward due to the disruption brought about by COVID-19.
”The bus transit system has proven to be an effective means of achieving a fast, reliable and efficient movement of large number of people across the State.
”Since March 2008, when the first phase of this new initiative was launched, thousands of Lagosians have continued to enjoy improved travel experience along the designated routes every day,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu said that new corridors and routes were being opened to ensure that the BRT service was accessible to greater number of people.
He said that this was in line with the Lagos State strategic transport master plan which sought to integrate road, water and rail transportation.
”I am also delighted to inform you of our efforts to secure the release of about 550 high and medium capacity buses which had been in bonded warehouse to increase the stock of regulated buses in our state.
”These buses would be gradually deployed on the primary transport corridors in the state for ease of commuting of our people.
”I will use this opportunity to thank our dear President Muhammadu Buhari for his kind intervention, which facilitated the clearing of some of the high capacity buses that would be deployed on this corridor.
”All our actions are geared towards birthing a new commuting order through seamless travel in a near congestion free state,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that his administration was very keen to seeing all transport modes integrated through all intervention in traffic management and transportation.
”In our quest to integrate all transport modes, we are also launching an upgraded e-ticketing platform that would at once drive automation of our transport fare payment system and smart mobility through a cashless single travel card system.
”With the e-ticketing system, we envisage the use of a single card on buses and ferries and later upscale to the railways system when passenger operations commence in 2022.
”The system promotes a cashless ecosystem, aids personal budgeting and planning and commuters can easily top up.
”The challenge of ‘no change’ that is very prevalent in our unregulated transport system will be a thing of the past. And using the system is fast, encrypted and secured,” he said.
In her remarks, Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), said that the authority had carried out a full rehabilitation of the 4-lane carriageway along the entire corridor.
Akinajo said that 11 new pedestrian bridges were constructed and three others were rehabilitated and modified.
She said that LAMATA provided traffic signalisation, Traffic System measures such as traffic signs, road markings among others, street lighting along the corridor and within bus stations.
According to her, the authority also constructed longitudinal and transverse service ducts and retaining walls, and a number of adjoining roads were rehabilated.
”The Oshodi–Abule Egba corridor is undoubtedly one of the busiest 13.65km long bus corridors in West Africa, with over 5,500 mini-buses moving passengers per day.
”It is a major link for millions of Lagosians who commute in and out of Alimosho, Egbeda, Ijaiye, Iyana-Ipaja and other places to other parts of Lagos or to neighbouring Ogun State and the Republic of Benin.
”The frequency of the BRT Operation will enhance public transport accessibility by up to 25 per cent, while the provision of BRT lanes will enhance reliability on public transportation by 30 per cent,” she said.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Transport, Dr Frederick Oladehinde, said the government was passionate about the welfare of the people.
Oladeinde urged the people not to sabotage government efforts.