By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Citing immense benefits to the movement of more than 60 million passengers since its completion in 2015, the 129 –year old Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, recently, named the Mile 12 to Ikorodu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project implemented by Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, “The Infrastructure Project of the Year.”
The BRT extension from Mile 12- Ikorodu Town is a median lane operation with restricted access to bus stations, using pedestrian bridges and walkways. The Mile 12 to Ikorodu BRT is an upgraded version of the Mile 12 to CMS BRT system. It was designed to convey an estimated 300,000 passengers daily using 434 high capacity buses with an average of 10 minutes headway frequency.
The Mile 12 to Ikorodu Bus Rapid Transit “CLASSIC” System extension was conceived to complement the Mile 12 to CMS BRT system which was the first in Sub Sahara Africa.
The system provides a high quality, high capacity and low-cost public transportation system operating on specialized infrastructure with adequate incentives to offer affordable mobility, sustainable urban environment and better quality of life to urban population.
The BRT system has also generated over 1,500 direct and 3,000 indirect employment opportunities.
Managing Director of LAMATA, Engr. Abiodun Dabiri had, while stressing that the recognition of the contribution of the BRT to infrastructure development for public transportation would further spur the agency to deliver more projects that would be of benefit to the people, said the BRT from Oshodi to Abule-Egba will present another first class transport infrastructure that would reduce travel time, cost and waiting time for public transportation along its designated corridor.
As part of innovations to make public transport attractive to the upper echelon of the society so they could drop their vehicles, use public transport and reduce both congestion and emission on the roads, LAMATA also introduced the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) with an application, Lagos BRT app,” to assist commuters in planning their journeys and determine the arrival of buses at the various bus shelters.
Dabiri assured residents that they will soon begin to see changes being introduced by LAMATA in bringing transport infrastructure to all parts of Lagos, saying one of the changes, Ikeja Bus Terminal, is set for launch.
Traffic congestion within and around Ikeja, the capital city of Lagos State, has become a phenomenon despite efforts by government to effectively manage traffic across the state. A major cause of the congestion has been traced to the activities of dispersed motor parks located within the area.
12 bus parks/garages were identified within the heart of Ikeja operating over 60 routes, which are mostly duplicated. The state of infrastructure at the parks were in deplorable state with mode of operation informal and unstructured.
Following this observed trend, LAMATA proposed a central bus terminal for Ikeja, which was subsequently approved by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. The new bus terminal in Ikeja was designed to be the hub for all bus operations within and around the state capital.
This is part of the state government’s efforts to make public transportation effective and efficient. Ikeja Bus Terminal, which is 100 per cent completed, is located along Simbiat Abiola Way, Ikeja on a 10, 000 square metres piece of land with an annex terminal for bus stabling and maintenance on Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja.
“The project would among other benefits restore the sanity of Ikeja as well as ease congestion within and around the state capital. It would also promote the upgrade of transport infrastructure and promote seamless public transport operations,” Dabiri stated.
The terminal has the following features: Loading and alighting areas for 30 harmonised routes, space for about 200 medium and high capacity buses, waiting area, mechanical workshop, refuse house, water treatment plant house and diesel/Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, storage tank.
Others features are the terminal building, driver’s lounge, gate house and fire service.
The benefits of the terminal include improved traffic management and reduced traffic congestion, increased security, organised and formalised bus operations, improved commuter comfort, improved environmental condition, eradication of indiscriminate parking and bus park crimes, improved travel time along designated routes.
The ultimate economic benefits of the project are increased security, more organized operations, improved commuter comfort, improved traffic management and reduced traffic congestion, improved environmental condition, free Ikeja of indiscriminate parking and bus park crimes, improved mobility shall be obtained through introduction of predictable/affordable fare-collection mechanism. This would enhance the public travel affordability, regulated and controlled operations would decrease commute-time by 20 per cent to the various destinations, and introduction of ITS in the form of advance passenger information systems which would enable commuter trip planning, faster boarding and alighting to increase individual trip rates by 20 per cent.
Others are faster accessibility to improved bus service, promote shift to more environmentally sustainable urban transport modes, promotes safety by providing sidewalks, provision of facilities at the parks to enhance the promotion of less pollutants buses, environmentally friendly facilities like toilets, Close Circuit Television, CCTV, among others.
Meanwhile, eager commuters and residents waiting for the official launch will have to wait awhile because the delay in the commission of the bus terminal was due to the yet to be installed Teflon Membrane Material that can last 50 years.