LAGOS State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised that the intra-city train tickets expected to start operations by the last quarter of 2022 will not be excessive.
Sanwo-Olu said this on Friday while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme monitored by The ICIR, noting that the trains would be regular.
The Lagos State government recently disclosed that it had acquired the Talgo intra-city metropolitan trains at a public event in Milwaukee, the United States.
The governor said the newly acquired Talgo intra-city 10-coach metropolitan trains for the Lagos Red Line Metro Project was in line with the intermodal transport plan of the state.
He said that the 37 km Red Line would traverse eight stations and move passengers from Agbado through Oyingbo.
The governor said his government was completing the ancillary infrastructure like the train stations ahead of the planned intra-city train operations by the end of this year.
He said it would cost the state up to N150bn to complete the red and blue lines, adding that the investment would be worth it for the movement of over 22 million Lagosians.
Sanwo-Olu said the intra-city trains would help decongest traffic on the road, making it affordable for Lagosians.
Speaking on the fare for a train ride, Sanwo- Olu said, “N200, N250, it (train ticket) probably won’t be more than that. The fare structure will be (determined by) where you are joining and taking off, but typically it won’t be more than what you are running on your regular BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) today.
“For it to be accessible, affordability is really critical for people to want to make it a better option. You can say it is quicker, instead of you staying one hour on the road, it is going to take you 20 minutes.
“So, affordability is very critical. It is certainly not going to be in thousands, like using N5,000 on it. It is nothing close that, it is still going to be in the regular N200, that is what we are looking at.”
The newly-acquired trains will be the first operational metro system in West Africa, designed to convey at least 500,000 passengers daily in the first phase of operation.
The first phase of the Red Line is expected to begin by the last quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023. Upon completing the second phase, the Red Line will serve the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Airport, Lagos.
With about 27 million residents, Lagos State is Africa’s most densely populated city. Statistics shows that by 2025, Lagos will be one of the five most populated cities in the world.
The state experiences traffic congestions that affect man hours negatively.
Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation Frederic Oladeinde said that over 1.6 million vehicles plied Lagos roads daily. With the coming of the trains, the number of cars plying Lagos roads is expected to be reduced, he said.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Global Livability Ranking for 2021 categorised Lagos as the second least livable city in the world based on assessments of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. As revealed by the report, the least livable city in the world is Damascus, Syria. The lack of transport infrastructure affects the livability ranking of Lagos.
In the same vein, Danne Institute for Research in partnership with Financial Derivatives Company estimated traffic congestion’s financial and economic cost to individuals and businesses in Lagos.
The total loss to Lagos is almost N4 trillion. The report also said that Lagosians lost a lot of productive hours to traffic congestion while commuting to work each day.
“The resulting gridlocks affect individuals in many ways: the number of productive hours wasted in traffic, the additional money that could have been saved or used to care for the family spent on transport, health problems due to regular exposure to air pollution and so on.
“Its effects on businesses and their growth are also colossal. Traffic delays affect productivity and efficiency, lead to spoilage of goods before they reach their destinations and contribute to insecurity on the roads,” the report further said.