Re: Beyond Lagos’ Traffic Law
The BRT scheme was borne out of the need to reduce the overwhelming mobility problems that commuters were facing on Mile12 – CMS corridor.
Considering that Ikorodu road is one of the major gateway roads providing a link to Lagos Island where about 70 percent of the industrial/commercial activities are concentrated, it became necessary to institute a reliable transport system on that corridor to meet the need of commuters.
Prior to the commencement of the BRT, about 306,750 of vehicles use Ikorodu road on a daily basis; therefore, it was clear that mini and midi buses that were prevalent on the corridor would not be able to cater for the demand.
The BRT on Ikorodu road also maximised the capacity of the road as it now take on more commuters. Before the implementation of the BRT, traffic count showed that 485,789 commuters used Ikorodu Road.
With the introduction BRT lanes and the rehabilitation of the service lanes, commuter figure increased to 625,567 with the BRT carrying about 25 per cent of the figure.
The Mile12 – CMS BRT was modelled after BRT concrete schemes in cities like Istanbul in Turkey, Jakarta in Indonesia, Bogota and Pereira in Colombia, Curitiba, Porto Alegre and Sau Paulo in Brazil, Quito in Ecuador, and Brisbane and Adelaide in Australia. In these cities, BRT has been implemented running on their physically segregated lanes.
Before the implementation of the BRT on Ikorodu Road, users of the road usually experience horrendous traffic gridlocks, caused by impatience and bad driving habits of drivers in Lagos. Ikorodu Road became counter-productive and the economy of Lagos State suffered tremendously for this.
The Lagos State Government in ameliorating the situation sought the transfer of the road to it for the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit system.
The Federal Government under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo promptly transferred the road to the Lagos State Government having been convinced of the benefits of implementing a BRT system on the road, one of the longest and busiest in the state.
In cities where BRT has been implemented by using one lane for the BRT buses, huge success has been recorded. However, before the implementation of the BRT, a comprehensive planning was carried out to determine the most cost effective and safest way to implement it.
Ikorodu road has three speed lanes and two service lanes. In the design of the BRT therefore, certain reasons guided the choice of using one lane for the BRT buses. Such reasons include; 1 (Need to reduce congestion) One BRT bus carries about 80 passengers, which about six danfoes (mini buses) would carry. Therefore, one BRT bus has replaced six danfoes, thereby, reducing traffic congestion on the corridor.
It is indeed expected that private car users would drop their cars to use the BRT bus for convenience and comfort .2 (Safety) Movements of high capacity buses in mixed traffic pose safety implications for other road users. 3 (Bus Frequency) The need to ensure high frequency of buses to meet the demand, and minimise travel and waiting time of the users also necessitated the segregation of the BRT lane .
The implementation of the BRT is Public Private Partnership arrangement, where the government provided the infrastructure ie depot, bus shelter etc, whilst the private sector ( NURTW) provided and owned the buses, as well as run the scheme.
A total of 220 buses are in the fleet, and about 200,000 passengers are generated daily. Since inception, over 211million passengers have been carried. The Lagos BRT system has been acknowledged worldwide with visits by delegation from United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, South Africa, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire and from states in Nigeria desiring to implement a solution similar to the Lagos system in overcoming traffic gridlocks in their domain.
Ikorodu Road used to be popular for the “One Chance” syndrome before the advent of the BRT. With “one chance” people are robbed at will in moving buses, injured and sometimes killed. Since the advent of the BRT, “one chance” has become a thing of the past on Ikorodu Road.
The BRT moves more than 180,000 commuters daily, ensures shorter travel time from 87 to 55 minutes, showing 37 per cent savings, average waiting time reduced from 45 to 10 minutes, fare reduction and stability by 30 per cent, greener environment as a result of many commuters dropping their cars and embracing the use of public transport, thus reducing the level of emission into the atmosphere along the corridor by about 13 per cent. The BRT has also created 15,000 direct and indirect jobs besides building capacity in the private sector.
All over the world, city managers have always devised means to make their cities liveable and one of the things they do is to ensure they put in place good transport infrastructure that support the population.
Such infrastructure must support their lifestyle as well as provide means of moving from one point to the other in a safe and affordable manner. This informed the implementation of a Bus Rapid Transit System for Lagos.
Mr F Adewole Faleti , a lawyer, wrote from Lagos