By Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS — THE Lagos State Government has signed a major agreement with a French firm on the Lagos Rail Mass Transit, LRMT, project, as part of measures to intensify the multi-modal transport system in the state aimed at decongesting the roads.
Meantime, the state government said the Marina to Mile-2 section of the project known as the Blue Line Rail, would now be ready for passenger operation by 2022.
Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, Mr. Abiodun Dabiri, who signed on behalf of the State Government, said the partnership was in realization of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration’s commitment to deliver a multi-modal transport system and transform the state’s public transportation landscape with the view to moving it closer to the achievement of the first integrated and multi-modal transport system in Nigeria.
Dabiri said: “A consortium of experts was engaged by the State Government to undertake a technical due diligence on the LRMT Blue Line Project (Mile 2–Marina) had developed a roadmap which was accepted by the State Government to bring the railway project to passenger operations.”
“On completion, the rail projects would reduce congestion and pressure on the roads which will lessen maintenance cost and increase the lifespan of a road network, promote modal shift as private car owners and public bus commuters will move towards the use of rail as a safer, more convenient option.
It will also enhance the quality of life and reduce pollution on many road transport corridors. ”Based on the final report submitted, the consortium of French firm has been engaged for the procurement, engineering, construction, installation of Operation and Maintenance (O&M) moveable infrastructure and commissioning of railway systems towards the commencement of passenger operations for LRMT Blue Line project from Marina to Mile 2.
“For this purpose, a track length of about 3.0 km from Iganmu Station to National Theatre will be electrified. This operation would be done with the rolling stocks already supplied for the Blue Line project.
“This phase would allow the completion of all the preliminary works that would lead to the financing of the main works in Phase two. Phase one will be fully financed by Lagos State Government through Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.
“Phase two, which is expected to be completed in 39 months, would entail the provision and installation of railway operations’ systems for the project from Marina to Mile 2 and the delivery of a passenger-ready Lagos Blue Rail Line by 2022.”
In his remarks, a Director in the firm, Mr. Guy Jean-Pierre, assured that the firm would work to ensure the delivery of the Blue Line to passenger operation by bringing on board required expertise and experience in rail system management.