The Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) lane being constructed between Oshodi and Abule Egba in Lagos State will reduce the commute time on the route by as much as 75 percent, figures from government officials indicate.
Oshodi to Abule-Egba, in Lagos, is a distance of 13.68 kilometres. Currently, commuters spend an average of two hours in peak traffic periods: 7am to 10am and 5:30pm to 9:30pm traveling this distance in the yellow commercial buses, paying between N300 and N350 per trip.
However, the BRT would be operating on a segregated route carved out from the exiting Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, and would run 25 to 30 minutes maximum, between Oshodi and Abule-Egba.
Checks further showed that longer travelling hours are sometimes the lot of commuters on this ever-busy route, depending on whether there are sudden impediments like upturned trucks or crashes involving small vehicles.
As a result, some commuters see commercial motorcycles as an alternative during peak traffic hours. But the commercial motorcycle option comes with its own consequences, as lives have been lost in accidents involving motorcycles on the road.
Here is where the planned flag off of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) scheme on this route by May 2020, holds relief for mass of commuters, who can look to a reduced travel time and convenience, which are some of the benefits that the BRT offers.
The BRT would be operating on a segregated route carved out from the exiting Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, and would run 25 to 30 minutes maximum, between Oshodi and Abule-Egba.
It was not certain at the time of this report, what fare the BRT would be charging on the route, as Fola Tinubu, Managing Director of Primero Transport Services Ltd, the licensed operators of BRT scheme, in Lagos, when contacted, said he would talk to BusinessDay later on the unfolding scheme. But an official of the Lagos State ministry of transportation, hinted that the “fare should not be exploitative” compared with the yellow buses.
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday, visited the area to see the level of work on the ongoing BRT route construction, and put the level of work at 75 percent completion. Sanwwo-Olu told reporters that the scheme would be ready by May, this year, with 200 buses to flag off operations.
“This BRT corridor was conceived with the intention to address congestion and transportation challenges along the Oshodi-Abule Egba corridor. We are fully back on this project and we are pushing the contractor to step up the pace of work on it. Once it starts operation, this will significantly bring relief and reduce traffic congestion and transportation problems along this route.
“We are hoping that by the end of May, we should complete the entire phase 1 of the BRT infrastructure along this route. The work has been pushed up and the entire project is about 75 per cent to completion. The rest of the construction activities to be done include completion of bus shelters, rigid pavements and terminals.”
Sanwo-Olu said the Government had started to address some impediments slowing down the construction work on the path, which, he said, included blocked drainage network along the route. The governor said desilting of the identified drain channels at Katangowa market would be done to pave the way for completion work on the BRT lane.
The ongoing phase 1 of the project will have 14 bus stations between Abule Egba and Oshodi. Five of the stations are bilateral, facing both sides of Expressway; nine medium stations. Also, streetlight facilities will be installed on the route in addition to pedestrian bridges being built along the path.
The governor also said the government would be acquiring land to build mega bus depots for the BRT vehicles to be deployed to the area.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that after the completion of the first phase, work would commence on phase II of the project, which will stretch from Abule Egba to Sango, later this year.
“The extension of the BRT corridor to Ogun State border is part of the solutions we are bringing to address traffic congestion along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and reduce it to the barest minimum. This will create a robust transportation model for our residents living in border towns,” said Sanwo-Olu.