Lagos Completes Blue Line Rail to Ease Transport Hurdles
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos State government on Wednesday announced the completion of the Lagos Blue Line Rail, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu taking the first trip aboard the electric-powered rail infrastructure.
The Governor led his Deputy, Mr Obafemi Hamzat, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, members of the state cabinet, reporters and members of the public on a ride from the National Theatre Station to the iconic station in Marina. The trip took approximately 10 minutes.
This marked the completion of civil infrastructure work on the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) being constructed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).
The completed tracks, spanning 13 kilometres in the first phase, extend from Mile 2 to Marina, covering five stations. The construction started in 2010 under the administration of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. It experienced some delays in the succeeding administration before the current Government continued from 2019.
Mr Sanwo-Olu declared the end of construction on the Blue Rail Line project and lauded his administration and the contractors for keeping to the December 2022 deadline. The rail infrastructure, he said, is now ready for commissioning in January by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Governor said the milestone was a culmination of “impactful reforms” initiated in the State’s transport ecosystem, which started at the beginning of the fourth republic under the administration of one of his predecessors, Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He described the moment as “historic”, saying Lagos became the first sub-national government in Africa to fund and deliver a rail system from the state’s balance sheet.
The Governor said the construction of the second phase of the Blue Line rail project, which covers 14-kilometre from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko, will be launched immediately after the completion and inauguration of the first phase next month.
He said: “The completion of the infrastructure for the first phase of the Lagos Blue Line rail is a strong testimony of our commitment to building on the legacies of past administrations and the pioneering vision of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This milestone in the development of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) is the culmination of several impactful reforms in the transport ecosystem of Lagos, starting in 1999.”
After commissioning, Mr Sanwo-Olu said passenger operations would not commence until the project undergoes necessary test-running and proper security measures are put in place along the rail corridor.
The Governor said the state had already taken the delivery of the three sets of wagons that would be used for passenger operations. The completed rail infrastructure, he said, has the capacity to move 250,000 passengers daily. When the second phase is completed, he said the entire project would take 500,000 people daily.