…Clears air on alleged traps by LAMATA taskforce on BRT lane

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

The Lagos State Government has on Tuesday taken delivery of new trains from Milwaukee, United States, for its Redline rail project, a 37-kilometre intracity railway system.

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, who disclosed this on Tuesday, said the delivery was in line with government’s determination to deliver the operation of the Red Line Rail System by the first quarter of 2023.

Omotoso said, “Talgo Series 8 Trains, the 2 Nos. Ten and Eleven Car trains which were bought from Milwaukee are here.”

He explained that it was necessary to decouple the train into 21 individual cars for effective transportation to Lagos, adding that the trains will be recoupled with the help of rolling stock Engineers from Talgo, the company that manufactured the trains in the United State of America.

According to Omotoso: “The Engineers will also take the opportunity to train our local Engineers whilst they are here to equip our young people with the requisite skills. Once the recoupling is complete, the testing and commissioning will commence followed by full passenger operations in the first quarter of 2023.

“Each train can carry 1500 passengers and is expected to run on the Red Line Rail from Agbado to Oyingbo, with the journey taking less than 30 minutes.”

Clears air on alleged traps by LAMATA taskforce

In another development, General Manager of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, debunked alleged entrapment by the agency’s taskforce along Mile-12, Ikorodu axis.

Akinajo, in a statement maintained that it was never the state government’s intention to entrap any citizen while using any of the roads.

The statement read in part: “LAMATA is in receipt of a trending write-up online suggesting that BRT Task Force enforcing compliance with the BRT regulation was engaging in entrapment of motorists in order to “meet their targets.”

“Unfortunately, the writer of the piece didn’t mention his or her name, brand of vehicle and number plate, to provide an opportunity for further investigations to get to the truth of the matter.

“The BRT regulation provides that except for franchised operators for whose purpose the services of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane have been constructed, ambulance and fire service vehicles on emergency services, driving or propelling, whether mechanically or otherwise, of vehicles along the BRT lane of the BRT corridor is prohibited.

“It is never the Lagos State Government’s intention to entrap any citizen while using any of the roads, however it is the responsibility of road users to obey all road signs.

“There are no targets to be met. The Task Force is on the road to ensure that the operation of the BRT is not hindered in any way.

“Drivers and visitors using roads in Lagos state are expected to follow the laws of the state – observe road signs and stay within the ambit of road regulations. The location in reference as the point of conflict, in the online post, has visible and enough signage with bold inscription “BRT BUS ONLY” on the road pavement and gantry signage visible from the descent of the Mile 12 Bridge, separating BRT lane and the lane for other vehicles.

“Motorists arrested on the BRT lanes are booked to appear before a mobile court set up by the Lagos State and fines are prescribed as contained under the Traffic Offences and Penalties in the Part 3 of the Transport Sector Laws of Lagos State.

“The writer in this viral post admitted violating the BRT regulation and was subsequently charged to the mobile court where he pleaded guilty. The writer accepted that he, indeed, obstructed traffic. The law took its natural course.

“LAMATA would like to say that citizens have the right to complain about what had been done unjustly to them but this must be backed with detailed information for us to get to the root of the matter.

“We would also be willing to assist any citizen who felt unjustly arrested and prosecuted by coming forward with information to help us carry out in-depth investigation and unravel any impropriety in the enforcement of the BRT regulation by the Task Force.”

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