Fashola Unveils 126 Brand New BRT Lite Buses For Lagos Roads
Mar 17, 2008 - A major step towards solving the problem of congestion on Lagos roads was taken on Monday with the deployment of 126 brand new wide capacity BRT Lite buses on Lagos roads by the Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
Speaking at the official unveiling and launch of the buses which took place at the BRT Bus Depot, Ketu, the Governor said the project is another step towards achieving an integrated transportation system that promotes the use of land, water and rail.
The buses which are meant to ply Mile 12 through Ikorodu Road to CMS, Governor Fashola added will not only alleviate the sufferings of the commuting public and improve the people’s lifestyle, it would also offer Lagosians the benefits of operating a regulated bus transport system.
In his words:”in the last nine months, we have outlined and verbalized a clear agenda for giving the people of the State a new lease of life. To demonstrate our commitment, we have developed a detailed work plan for the phased rehabilitation/reconstruction of at least 100 strategic roads across the state over the next four years”.
The road construction and rehabilitation, Governor Fashola added, will complement the vision of a bus transport system that meets the yearnings of the people.
Governor Fashola added that the present government is bringing hope to the people by building on the accomplishments of the preceding administration and taking concrete steps to arrest the chaos that had characterized our public transportation system.
Tracing the history of traffic management decades back to the days of “odd and even numbers”, as well as “park and ride” strategies, Governor Fashola said the problem of congestion was not new with Lagos.
Said he: “The problem of traffic congestion in Lagos is therefore not a recent phenomenon. It is one which successive governments have grappled with as the population has surged at a geometric rate with the attendant sharp increase in vehicular density”.
He restated that the problem of traffic congestion is not peculiar to Lagos alone, but a problem of mega and successful cities, adding that it is probably one of the prices that successful urban cities the world over pay.
Fashola added that the responsibility of governments the world over is how to manage problem of traffic congestion as exemplified by the example of the City of London which in spite of its successful bus and underground system has been compelled to introduce congestion charge.
The Governor emphasized that there is no viable alternative to mass urban transportation in Lagos if efficiency is to be achieved in road use and management.
He explained that the road is a resource which everyone shares in order to achieve different but compelling daily life’s aspiration, advising that everyone cannot be on the road at the same time, but should employ other means to avoid being on the road.
In order to complement road rehabilitation and construction programme, Lagos is investing resources in the development of water transportation through the rehabilitation of identified jetties and the construction of new ones, Governor Fashola informed.
Continuing, he explained that the state is working assiduously to implement a rail system from Okokomaiko in the Western part of Lagos to Mile2 in the first phase, while the rail line will eventually terminate at Marina
While calling on the private sector to invest in the public transportation given its huge market potentials, he expressed happiness at the investment which the Cooperative union of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has made in the purchase of 100 buses to run the BRT system.
He informed that in order to cater for the interest of people who are physically challenged, two dedicated seats would be provided on each of the buses pending when the specialized buses ordered would arrive, pleading that people should always vacate such seats when the physically challenged gets on the buses.
He warned that where some people choose to ignore the plea by the State and break traffic laws with impunity, the State will not hesitate to strictly enforce the law and bring such people to book in the collective interest of the society.
He appealed to military officers and policemen, bullion van drivers, commercial drivers and others who are not authorized to go on BRT track to refrain from doing so.
The Governor affirmed that “today, we take another significant step that will set the stage for the holistic reformation of Lagos Transportation system that promotes the use of land, water and rail, I assert that our word will always be our bond: we will never rest on our oars until we deliver our pledge to bequeath a Lagos that symbolizes the genius of the blackman and is a pride to all”.
Also speaking, the former Governor of Lagos, Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu appealed to all Lagosians to pay their taxes and in the correct proportion so that government can have funds to further better the lives of the people as the successful completion of the project requires a lot of sacrifice.
He reiterated his call on the Federal Government to pay Lagos State its rightful dues as a former Federal Capital which has suffered a lot of neglect since the movement of the capital to Abuja .
Also speaking, Commissioner for Transportation, Professor Bamidele Badejo said the Bus Rapid Transit system has been around since the mid-nineties, when it was first implemented in Curitiba , Brazil , adding that with a huge six million people moving around in a mega city like Lagos , BRT remains the inevitable choice.
In his remarks, Managing Director of LAMATA, Dr Dayo Mobereola informed that the BRT would operate a four minute headway which means buses would always be available every four minutes to pick passengers at the bus shelters.
He added that the buses would start operation daily by 6.00am and end by 10pm with two levels of fare being available to passengers with those moving between Mile 12 and CMS obtaining a ticket of N100 while those traveling between Mile 12 and Fadeyi and Moshalashi to CMS would pay N50 bus fare
In a goodwill message, the Chairman of the NURTW Cooperatives, Alhaji Gidado Hamman pledged the full cooperation of the NURTW to ensure the success of the BRT transport system.
He added that Lagos has always been lucky in producing governors with vision as the BRT project is a product of visionary leadership.
In his message, the Corps Marshall of the Federal Roads Safety Corps, Mr Osita Chidoka expressed support of the corps for the operation of the BRT buses as a way of making Lagos liveable for all its residents.
He added that the buses would also assist in reducing travel time on Lagos roads.
In his goodwill message, the representative of the Lagos Police Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Marvel Akpoibo pledged the readiness of the Lagos command to ensure the success of the programme.
He added that the introduction of the BRT Lite buses would serve as a major means of assisting the Nigerian Police in effectively combating traffic bottleneck which it has had to contend with in Lagos .
Among the guests who graced the occasion were Deputy Governor Mrs Sarah Adebisi Sosan, former Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly RT Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu 1, members of the National Assembly, members of the State Executive Council and legislature, chief executives of corporate organizations and representatives of all major transport unions and transporters.