The Lagos State Government through the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) has begun the building of the Red Rail Line, writes ADEYINKA ADERIBIGBE
CONSTRUCTION work started on the second phase of the Lagos Light Rail project – the Red Line, which is part of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) last week. The Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) which supervises the project said it would be delivered in 24 months.
At the community engagement fora at the Mainland Local Government Area and Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area (LCDA), for Oyingbo and Mushin, last week, the message from the government was the same – community understanding and ownership.
It was organised by LAMATA, in collaboration with Messrs Global Impact Environmental Consulting and Nolasimbo Consulting Engineers, on Tuesday and Friday.
The government sought understanding from residents who may lose their property(ies) to the project’s actualisation, stressing that the project belonged to all, hence, communities must ensure its sustenance after it must have been delivered.
The Red Line is a part of the state government’s vision of an integrated multimodal transportation system contained in the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP) which aims ultimately to birth a world class transportation network that will support the state’s profile, not only as Nigeria’s most successful economic capital, but also Africa and the black race’s first megacity.
The STMP developed by LAMATA, (government’s special purpose vehicle (SPV) infrastructure agency), since year 2000, highlights all the state’s long-term transport initiatives to be implemented over a 30-year period.
The LRMT network of light rails comprises of six light rail transit lines and one mono rail these are the Blue and the Red lines, which the government is shouldering to develop and deliver to the people. Others are the Yellow, Purple, Green and Orange Lines, which would be complemented by the monorail from Victoria Island-Obalende-Ikoyi.
The Rail lines network is to take the pressure off the roads. Lagos with approximately 22 million population is predominantly a road-based economy, with about 18 million of its population employing one form or the other forms of road transportation to move from one place to the other everyday.
The result is the obvious congestion residents usually experienced on the roads, making Lagos roads one in which her people experienced the worst forms of nightmares, ranging from outright mugging, to road robberies, to congestion and gridlocks, wherein road users spend a minimum of four to eight hours daily, amounting to 56 hours per week, about 1680 hours monthly.
The state’s Bureau of Statistics in 2016 had claimed the state lost over 2 billion man-hour to traffic yearly in the last one decade, making Lagos one with the least productive citizens in the world.
The rail network is envisioned to address all of these fears, and is being designed to integrate all modes of transportation – bus, ferry and non-motorised transport (NMT) modes to provide commuters with seamless travel and access to all parts of the state.
The Red Line
The Red line is a 37 km North-South rail route which proposes to run on the same alignment with the Standard Gauge Rail system being constructed by the Federal Government as part of the national rail network. It would run from Agbado to Marina with 12 proposed stations at Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba, Ebute Meta, Ido, Ebute Ero, and Marina.
The red line would be sharing the same corridor with the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) from Agbado to Ebute Metta and then carry on across the lagoon to Marina via Iddo, with the Marina Station sharing the hub with integrated transport modes at the Blue line.
Giving further technical details, LAMATA’s Director Rail Transport Olasunkanmi Okusaga, said the proposed gauge for the red line is 1435mm and the line when completed would carry 750,000 passengers per day at inception and 1.1 million per day, when fully operational.
Okusaga, who addressed Baales, chiefs and other community leaders, including market and youth leaders at the two town hall meetings said the Red line would be constructed in two phases with the first phase running from Oyingbo to Agbado, while the second would take off from Oyingbo to Marina.
The Managing Director of Global Impact Environmental Consultants Engr Babatunde Osho assured that compensations will be fully paid to all who may be affected by the project.
He added that both the landlords and tenants, including the shop owners would be compensated, while all indices of the economic relevance and importance of the structures would be calculated and paid in line with acceptable global best practices.
Osho added that enumerators have already started going out, adding that actual work would only begin once the entire mapping of all affected places have been completed.The Red Line’s first phase, which terminates at Oyingbo, which Okusaga said would be delivered in 24 months, will have nine stations located at Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba, Ebute Metta, and Oyingbo, with plans to link the local airport at Ikeja, with a skywalk from Ikeja train station.