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30 boats underway as Lagos flags off ferry services with mobile app

Sixteen additional boats are to be launched later this year to further strengthen operations of the Lagos State Ferry (LagFerry) which commenced commercial services with 14 new boats on seven routes across the state on Tuesday. With the 16 boats, the state hopes to increase the number of boats in LagFerry’s fleet to 30 before the end of 2020.

The launch of the ferry services and the mobile app falls in line with the dream of the state government to integrate road, rail and waterway to achieve efficient inter-modal public transportation system that will move millions of residents seamlessly across the state.

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The boats have the capacity to ferry 40 to 60 passengers per trip and will commute passengers across the following water routes: Ikorodu – Ebute Ero/Elegbata – CMS/Marina, Ikorodu – Five Cowries Ferry Terminal (Falomo, Ikoyi.), Badore – Addax Jetty (Victoria Island), Five Cowries Ferry Terminal (Falomo, Ikoyi), Ebute Ojo – Ijegun Egba – CMS/Marina, Mile 2 – Liverpool (Apapa) – CMS/Marina, Badore – Ijede.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the launch, which took place at the Badore Ferry Terminal, Ajah, said asides the boats, the government will also be strengthening the operations of the Lagos Bus Services Limited with additional 500 buses, up from the 65 that were released on Monday.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the launch of the ferry services is in fulfillment of his administration’s promise to provide effective and integrated transportation system for commuters.

“Water transportation is one of the intermodal transportation tripods we are committed to developing as a strategy to reduce congestion on our roads which accounts for over 90 percent of commuting in Lagos State.”

 He noted that for Lagos to be a functional smart city desired by all, there must be diversification of the mode of transportation, “there must be interconnectivity of the rail, road and water transportation systems.

“However, the narrative of water transportation in Lagos is set to change as we are set to take full advantage of the water bodies that nature has endowed us with, to decongest our roads and substantially reduce travel time, promote a healthy environment through reduction of carbon emission,” he said.

The governor assured that measures have been put in place to ensure safety on the waterways through the empowerment of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) to effectively discharge its monitoring and regulatory duties.

Managing director of LagFerry, Ladi Balogun assured the launch will chart a new course for water transportation in Lagos.

“Water transportation is an integral component to the development of the Lagos multi-modal transport system; we have no doubt that the waterways will offer further solution to persistent gridlock on our roads and the ever growing transport demand in the state.

“We are working in hand with the private sectors, local and international ferries builders with the support of Mr. Governor to acquire more ferries to cover all the Forty (40) waterways routes before the end of the year 2020,” Balogun said.

He added that the 14 boats will be deployed to cover the three senatorial zones of the state.

JOSHUA BASSEY

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