By Theodore Opara
Lagos State government has explained that the new Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi Transport Interchange under construction and 11 bus terminals being built in strategic locations in the state are modelled after modern international bus terminals in Europe and America.
According to the state government, the decision to build bus terminals with world-class facilities was to give about 12 million people using public transportation a sense of belonging, similar to the kind of treatment about 21,000 air passengers daily using all the nation’s airports get. The terminal was inaugurated on March 29 by President Muhammadu Buhari.The new bus terminals feature an array of amenities similar to those at airport terminals.The Ikeja Terminal has a sheltered walkway, 13 ticketing booths, an ATM gallery, a food court, a functional Intelligent Transportation System that will make routes and travel plan easier and commuters can relax comfortably while waiting for their buses to arrive.The terminal is provided with conveniences for both sexes and free Wi-Fi spoLagos bus terminalst for commuters.
Other major points are the information centre, waiting area, loading bay, bus and taxi parks, concession shops, office for operator, control room and power house. The list of facilities at the terminal is endless. It’s a marked transformation from the old Lagos bus stops which are usually dirty and unhealthy for commuters.During a tour of the Oshodi terminal, it was observed that the interchange has attained 70 per cent completion. It has capacity to serve 300,000 travellers.Briefing newsmen on the project, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawanson, said the terminals were part of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s gift to he 12 million masses of the state, using public transportation daily.He said the terminals would put an end to insecurity, unreliability and accidents associated with the current commercial bus transportation in the state.According to him, the construction of the new bus terminals was aimed at ensuring that more people embraced public transportation and will restore sanity to the roads.
“We have Alapere Bus Shelter, Ilupeju Bus Depot, Yaba Bus Terminal, Anthony Bus Depot, Maryland Bus Terminal, Agege Bus Terminal, Ojota Bus Terminal, Oyingbo Bus Terminal, Tafawa Balewa Square Bus Terminal, among other proposed corridors. These facilities will provide over 3,000 jobs for youths and increase transport connections and intermodal connectivity in the state”, he added.
Also reacting, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, said the idea is to cater for low and medium income residents who could not afford to fuel their own cars every day.He said the Ikeja Bus Terminal is a major transportation infrastructure constructed to improve efficiency, adding that 23 routes would be serviced from the terminal while the facility would be servicing 400,000 passengers daily as well as reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution occasioned by the current street loading and dropping off of passengers.The Managing Director of Planet Project, Abiodun Otunola, said the Oshodi Transport Interchange, would have three terminals with terminal one serving the inter-city segment; two for the BRT buses from Oshodi to Abule Egba and other destinations such as Mile 2 and Okoko Maiko and terminal three would serve Lagos Island and Ikorodu-Ojota axis.He said all the three five-floor terminals would be connected with a skywalk.He said: “In all, we estimate nothing less than 50 destinations to be served from Oshodi. And when this terminal is operational, our initial estimate is that in the first one year, the traffic would be about 300,000 going to about 500,000. Ultimately, in 10 years, we estimate that about one million would be able to use this facility at the end of the day.It’s going to be a major hub and there is no major hub of this type in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of population, size, complexity and the number of destinations.”
The Planet Project boss said the transport facility was original and unique to suit the needs of the city.The Managing Director, LAMATA, said the agency came up with project and engaged Planet Project for the construction, adding that the plan was to encourage more people to drop their cars and use public means of transportation in Lagos.