If all goes well as planned, the 37k Red Line rail, the second of the mass transit rail projects in Lagos, Nigeria’s arguably most populous city, should begin operations in less than three months from now.
In the last few months, efforts at achieving this have been intensified by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led government, with the commissioning of overpass bridges at Yaba and Oyingbo, two projects associated with the Red Line rail.
On Tuesday, the state government invited AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the Kwara State governor, to commission another project linked to the Red Line. This time, the Ikeja overpass bridge in final preparations towards the flag off of the rail system in the first quarter of 2024.
The government earlier this year flagged off commercial operations of first phase (Marina-Mile 2) of the Blue Line mass transit rail, a 27km rail system on Lagos-Badagry corridor, a development that has brought a relief to commuters on that axis.
“Just about three years ago, we gave our words on the implementation of two rail lines, the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Blue and Red lines. Today, the first phase of the Blue Line is already in operation, giving a lot of reliefs to those using its corridor of operations.
“The infrastructure we are commissioning today (Ikeja overpass bridge) is one of the five overpass bridges we planned for the Red Line alignment. To date, this will be the fourth to be commissioned leaving only the Mushin overpass bridg,” said Sanwo-Olu at the commissioning of the bridge yesterday.”
According to the governor, these overpass bridges desmonstrate the state’s commitment to the safety of “our people by developing a permanent solution to the recurring fatal vehicle/train accidents collisions at railway crossings.”
He noted that the completion and formal commissioning of this safety infrastructure was a precursor to the commencement of passenger operations of the Red Line which will be commissioned by President Bola Tinubu in the first quarter of next year.”
The first phase of the Red Line on flag off, will move more than 500,000 passengers daily. It stretches over a distance of 27 kilometres from Agbado to Oyingbo, with eight stations at Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba and terminates at Oyingbo.
Earlier, Abimbola Akinajomanaging director of LAMATA, said that the bridges so far commissioned were meant to support the operation of the 27-kilometre stretch, representing the first phase LRMT Red Line rail, which is a 37-kilometre rail road.
“The Red Line, when opened for passenger operations, will tremendously improve the state GDP. The entire 37-kilometre Red line is expected to move more than one million passengers daily when fully operational. This train line will reduce congestion, emission and facilitate easy movement for commuters and goods,” she said.