The Lagos State Government on Thursday said it has commenced work on the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line project from Agbado to Marina.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this during the flag-off ceremony of a 37km rail route in Ikeja on Thursday.
Sanwo-Olu said the project would be implemented in two phases.
”We project that the Red Line would move its first passenger in the fourth quarter of 2022.
”In addition, we are simultaneously working on bringing the first phase of our Blue Line to passenger operation, projecting that it would be in operation by the fourth quarter of 2022,” he said.
He said that the construction of the infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line, would share tracks with the Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Projects by the Federal Government.
The governor said that the Red Line would have 12 proposed stations and the first phase would cover Agbado to Oyingbo, with nine stations.
According to him, three of the stations will be constructed with the Lagos–Ibadan Railway Modernisation Projects by the Federal Government at Agbado, Agege and Ebute Metta Junction.
”The remaining six would be constructed as independent stations at Iju, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin Yaba and Oyingbo.
”The phase two which would be mostly elevated would have stations at Iddo and Ebute-Ero before terminating at Marina,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that some of the unique characteristics of the Red Line was its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule-Egba Bus Rapid Transit, the future Orange Line, which would go from Ikeja to Agbowa, and Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.
”This particular station which has been appropriately named Ikeja Train Centre also has facilities for Park and Ride and commercial spaces.
”Also, the Oshodi Train Station will integrate with the Oshodi Bus Terminal and provision for adequate park and ride services and commercial spaces,” he said.
The governor said that another unique feature of the Red Line was that all the stations had elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers.
He said that the Red Line would also integrate with the Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.
According to him, the desire of government is to achieve improved connectivity amongst transport modes, making commuting within Lagos easy, as well as business-like for every resident and visitor.
“It will also help to reduce congestion, have predictable travel time and improve the GDP of the state.
”The implementation of the Red line project has become very elevated because of the financing package put in place for it by the state government through the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (DCRR) programme.
”This arrangement demonstrates the capacity of our Central Bank to support projects that are economically and socially viable.
”We are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Central Bank Governor, Dr Godwin Emefiele, for the invaluable assistance to the Government and people of Lagos State.
“We can only assure you that the funding package would be judiciously utilised,” he said.
Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, the Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), said that the project was part of the state’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP) 2032.
Akinajo said that the first phase of the Red line project would be 28km rail from Agbado to Oyingbo, in Ebute Metta area.
Akinajo said that the rail line was expected to carry 500,000 passengers daily for the first phase and once the second phase was implemented, it would commute one million passengers daily.