Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, marked a significant milestone on Monday with the official launch of commercial operations for the Lagos Blue Line rail project. The commencement date, long-awaited and postponed multiple times, is expected to provide much-needed relief to Lagos residents grappling with chaotic traffic situations.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, joined fellow Lagosians and state officials in celebrating the launch of commercial operations for the Blue Line rail. The rail system is set to serve a daily ridership of at least 250,000 individuals, bringing substantial reductions in travel time along the Mile 2-Marina corridor within the state.
With a population of over 20 million residents, Lagos has been notorious for its traffic congestion. The Blue Line project was conceived as an innovative mode of intra-city commuting, with the specific aim of reducing the city’s heavy reliance on a single transportation mode.
Passengers who had the opportunity to ride on the train expressed their satisfaction with the service, describing it as a smooth and organised experience. Engineer Joseph Akinpelu highlighted the environmental benefits, stating that the electrically powered rail system would reduce pollution and make transportation more seamless and comfortable.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also announced that almost four million citizens in the state already possessed Cowry cards used for public transport, and these cards could be used for the Blue Line as well. He further disclosed a 50% reduction in Blue Line fares.
The Blue Line project’s first phase, Phase I, was initially scheduled for completion in 2011 but encountered delays due to funding shortages and changes in government leadership. Upon full completion, the entire 27km Blue Line is expected to transport approximately 500,000 passengers daily, offering a significant solution to Lagos’ transportation challenges.