BusinessDay

Lagos Red Rail Line becomes operational 2022 – LAMATA MD

…silent on Blue Line Rail completion date

Managing director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Abimbola Akinajo, says the long-proposed Lagos Red Line rail system will eventually roll 24 months from now (October 2022).
Akinajo gave the confirmation at a milestone meeting with contractors and consultants on the implementation of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) involving the Red and Blue Line projects, on Tuesday.

A statement by Kola Ojelabi, the external relations manager of LAMATA, after the meeting, was, however, silent on the completion date for the Blue Line rail, which construction on Mile 2-Orile Iganmu-Marina corridor, started about 10 years ago.

LAMATA, a World Bank-assisted agency of the Lagos State government is saddled with the task of drawing up public transportation master plan for Nigeria’s economic capital. The agency also supervises the implementation of the various rail lines proposed for the state.

At the meeting, Akinajo said there were already established positions on a timeline for the delivery of the rail lines to passenger operation.

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The red line is one of seven rail lines identified in the Lagos’ Strategic Transport Master Plan for the mass movement of commuters and reduction in congestion which continues to characterise the vehicular and human movement in Nigeria’s biggest economic state.

The LAMATA MD underscored the importance of the 24-kilometre which stretches between Oyingbo and Agbado, representing the first phase of the 37-kilometre red railroad project, to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the people of the state, saying that rail was one of the ways cities deal with traffic congestion.

“The Red Line is supposed to be a quick win because it will share tracks with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on its Lagos – Ibadan rail corridor. There will be no delays, no budget or cost overrun and there will not be any shift in the delivery date,” Akinajo stated.

She added: “Our meeting is just to take stock of what we have done so far since this project started and to re-emphasise that there is no room for slippage in the delivery of the Red Line.”

In order to ensure train movement is not obstructed, Akinajo stated that four overpasses and three pedestrian bridges shall be constructed to eliminate level crosses and pedestrian access on the rail tracks and guarantee the unhindered movement of the train which would have eight minutes headway while ensuring safety by eliminating vehicular and pedestrian interactions along the rail line.

“Our projection is that the first phase of the Red Line will carry between 350,000 and 400,000 passengers daily. So we would not compromise on the agreed timelines. Funding for the project is ready and secured, so there will not be any funding issue,” she stated.

Also speaking, director of rail transportation, LAMATA, Olasunkanmi Okusaga reiterated that the contractors and consultants on the projects must work together, saying challenges must be quickly reported and resolved in a way that would be beneficial to timely delivery of the projects.

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