The Lagos Light Rail is a project that’s long overdue, especially for a city like Lagos. The project which was berthed in 2008 will likely come off as the longest project ever in the history of projects and timing.
It will be recalled that The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, formally stepped into the coach of the newly-completed Lagos Blue Line, on December 21, 2022, and announced that the rail project would be inaugurated in January by President Buhari
AutoReportNG took it upon ourselves to unravel some facts about the Lagos Light Rail.
Facts About Lagos Light Rail Project
1. In April 2008, the Lagos State Government approved ₦ 70 billion for the construction of the Okokomaiko-Iddo-Marina Line, with an estimated completion date of 2011. However, the project suffered many delays due to lack of funds
2. The opening date was revised to June 2013, then December 2016, then 2017. As of November 2016, only 16 km of the 27 km Blue Line had been completed.
3. The contract was awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), with advisory services being provided by CPCS Transcom Limited.
4. Lagos State is financing the construction of the Blue Line with its own resources. The Blue Line will run 27.5 km from Marina to Okokomaiko, with 13 stations and an end-to-end journey time of 35 minutes.
5. Lagos Rail Mass Transit is a rapid transit system being developed and under construction in Lagos State. The rail system is being managed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).
6. The railway equipment including electric power, signals, rolling stock, and fare collection equipment will be provided by the private sector under a concession contract.
7. LAMATA is responsible for policy direction, regulation, and infrastructure for the network.
8. The entire Blue Line will operate over a secure and exclusive right-of-way, with no level crossings and no uncontrolled access by pedestrians or vehicles. The route will run on the surface in the central reservation of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway between Igbo-Elerin Road (Okokomaiko) and Iganmu.
9. The first section of the network, Phase I of the Blue Line, was originally planned to be completed in 2011, though the construction has suffered many delays caused by the shortage of funds and change of government. In February 2021, the Lagos State Government announced that the Blue and Red Lines would be open by December 2022
10. The first phase of the Lagos rail line has five stations at Mile 2, Suru-Alaba, Orile Iganmu, National Theatre, and Marina, and it is expected to move about 250,000 passengers daily when its operation commences.
11. The entire Lagos Rail Mass Transit Blue Line is a 27-kilometer rail system from Marina to Okokomaiko, and its construction was divided into phases for ease of implementation. It is expected to move more than 500,000 passengers when the entire line is completed in 2023.
12. Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu recently launched the commencement of the Red Line project. The 37km North-South rail route would run from Agbado to Marina with 12 proposed stations at Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba, Ebute Metta (EBJ), Iddo, Ebute Ero, and Marina.
13. The Red Line will be constructed in two phases. The first phase from Oyingbo to Agbado will be a 28km rail that shares track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project and will have a dedicated track from Ebute Metta to Oyingbo. It will have nine stations, out of which three will be constructed within the Lagos Ibadan corridor by the Federal Government at Agbado, Agege, and Ebute Metta. The remaining six will be constructed as independent stations at Iju, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin Yaba, and Oyingbo. Phase Two, which will be mostly elevated like the blue line will have stations at Iddo, Ebute-Ero, and terminate at Marina where there will be an interchange to manage commuters from the red line, blue line, and green lines. There will also be a BRT interchange at Marina.
14. The Red Line will have nine stations, out of which three will be constructed within the Lagos Ibadan corridor by the Federal Government at Agbado, Agege, and Ebute Metta. The remaining six will be constructed as independent stations at Iju, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin Yaba, and Oyingbo.
15. The overpasses will be at Oyingbo, Yaba, Mushin, and Ikeja, and three extra at Illupeju, Jibowu, and Fagba will be built by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
16. The 37km North-South rail route would run from Agbado to Marina with 12 proposed stations at Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba, Ebute Metta (EBJ), Iddo, Ebute Ero, and Marina.
17. A total of 263 owners of residential and business premises owners are so far affected by the railway construction. As such the state is compensating landlords and in the first move, tenants too. Some of them were recently issued with cheques as high as N70 million for their losses.