February 1, 2020

Lagos road congestion: Lagferry targets 480, 000 passengers per day

Lagos road congestion: Lagferry targets 480, 000 passengers per day

Ferry terminal

Revives Mile2- Marina, other waterways operations

Launches Lagferry mobile app

Ferry terminal

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Lagos Ferry Services, Lagferry, an agency of the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, has concluded plans to deploy more ferries into its commercial fleet, saying, it targeting to move about 480,000, passengers daily on waterways, aimed at enhancing multi-modal transport system in the state.

This is coming as is set to launch the newly acquired 14 ferries in its fleet to cover 40 waterways, as well as a mobile application to operate a scheduled water transportation services with online/offline ticket bookings.

Managing Director Lagferry, Mr Ladi Balogun and Mr Damilola Emmanuel, General Manager Lagos State Waterways, LASWA, disclosed this on Saturday, at a joint media briefing on the commercial launch of operations of Lagferry, held at Alausa, Ikeja.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the state government commenced enforcement on a ban of commercial motorcyclists, called “Okada” and tricyclists, called “Keke NAPEP.”

According to Balogun, the target of 480,000 passengers per day will be realised when additional boats are added into the fleet soonest.

ALSO READ: LASG to launch 8 boats, mobile app to enhance water transportation

He said the state government is expanding the services to encourage residents to take to the waterways for easy commuting around the state.

According to Balogun, Lagos, “being a megacity and emerging smart city, it is quite obvious that efficient traffic management can best be experienced in Lagos State if the three modes of rail, road and water transportation are effectively integrated to complement one another.

“Water transportation is an integral component to the development of the state multi-modal transport system; we have no doubt that the waterways will offer a further solution to persistent gridlock on our roads and the ever-growing transport demand in the state.”

He lamented that commuting the over 20 million people of Lagos State largely on the road has proven ineffective, hence, the resort to waterways transportation as 37 per cent of the state actually on the water.

He said that today’s reality is that road transportation has been overstretched. “The introduction of Minibuses, Keke Marwa and Okada (Motorbikes) has mostly compounded the management of traffic across the state. In as much as these diverse means of road transportation cluster Lagos roads, the bus-stops continue to play host to stranded passengers.”

He stressed that many attempts to move a chunk of the commuters on to the waterways for a cool soothing cruise in a short time to their various destinations have been frustrated by the phobia for water travels.

Balogun said this was also compounded by “a few boat mishaps, occasioned by disrespect for rules and regulations, especially the use of rickety boats, overloading and over speeding have also not helped matters. ”This fear, he stated, the Lagferry is determined to work upon.

“As we are all aware, the Lagos landscape is naturally characterised by many water bodies such as the Atlantic Ocean, Lagoon, creeks, streams and estuaries etc. With water accounting for about 37 per cent of her landmass, Lagos State is naturally endowed with unlimited potential for water transportation and other related economic activities.”

He disclosed that the ferry operation would begin with 14 boats with capacity ranging from 25 to 60 Passengers. “With our global water transportation licence, LAGFERRY will operate on all the waterways routes in Lagos state, although, in gradual phases according to the available capacity.

“We plan to deploy all 14 ferries to cover the three senatorial, Lagferry, will subsequently “procure and deployed more ferries to other viable routes before the second quarter of the year 2020.

“The current administration in the state is unwaveringly committed to changing the narrative. It has made, and it is still set to make, quite an appreciable level of investment that is surely poised to lift the face of water transportation in the state.”

Balogun said that the new eight boats and the mobile app would be officially unveiled on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

According to him, the new eight boats bring the total of boats to be deployed for commercial operations to 14.

The boats are in the following capacities of 60Pax Capacity 3units, 50pax Capacity 2units, 40pax Capacity 3units, 30Pax Capacity 4units and 25Pax Capacity 2units.

While the six routes on which commercial operation will begin on a full scale are: Ipakodo Terminal, Ikorodu to Five Cowries Terminal, Falomo Ikoyi; Ipakodo Terminal, Ikorodu to Ebute Ero Jetty-Elegbata –Lagos Island, then to Marina Terminal CMS.

According to him, the routes are also from Five Cowries Terminal, Falomo Ikoyi, to Badore Terminal, Ajah-Eti in Osa Local Government; Ebute Ero Jetty, Ojo Local Government to Ijegun Egba Terminal, Oriade LCDA, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government to Marina Terminal, CMS.

Others are from Mile 2 Terminal, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government to Liverpool Jetty, Apapa to Marina Terminal CMS, the route from Badore Terminal, Ajah, in Eti-Osa Local Government to Ijede Jetty, Ikorodu.

He said that it was LASFERRY’s goal as a major stakeholder in the sector, to develop more of the routes on the waterways.

”LAGFERRY is determined to deliver on her mandate through an effective and realtime service delivery driven by technology to the good people and business of Lagos. At LAGFERRY, we are set to safely sail Lagos,” he said.