Lagos Bus Rapid Transit system garners praise from World Bank leader
Recent transportation advances in Nigeria’s most populous city have caught the attention of Dr. Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank. During a discussion session at the 10th Annual Transforming Transportation Conference in Washington, DC, hosted by the World Bank and EMBARQ, Kim commended the implementation of the Mile 12 - CMS Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, a branch of the Lagos Urban Transport Project (LUTP).
According to Kim, the Lagos BRT has been a boon to commuters who now enjoy many socio-economic benefits – the system has brought down transport fares, reduced station wait time by about 40 percent, and prompted job growth.
He stated that the BRT initiative, the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, has become one of the “ready-to-go solutions that can be implemented quickly in cities with serious transportation challenges.”
The BRT system is a 22-kilometer, partially segregated roadway from Mile 12 to CMS (two areas of Lagos). The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), the department responsible for LUTP, currently counts in operation 220 buses that have carried around 240 million passengers since BRT’s inception five years ago. A second phase of the project is in the works, with plans to add an additional 13.5 km to the BRT corridor.
Kim also called upon local leaders to continue to provide the support needed to solve public transportation challenges, pointing out that public backing will remain strong if constituents can get to work at reduced cost and in less time.
The BRT isn’t the only mode of sustainable transport in Lagos, a C40 city. LAMATA is implementing a 13-station rail project from Central to the West of the city, known as the Blue Line. It is one of seven rail lines planned for the Lagos megacity area. “The Lagos State Government is building the infrastructure while the rolling stock, operation and management will be provided by the private sector,” said Kolawole Ojelabi, External Relations Specialist at LAMATA.
“These transport projects will improve travel time, reduce time spent at bus stations, generate employment, reduce poverty and reduce emission associated with transport activities,” said Ojelabi.