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Sustainable public transport for social and economic development


Blue Line rail site from Okokomaiko-Marina

29 September 2015


The Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) network is a major component of the Lagos State Government’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), which has been developed to guide as a compass for the development of public transport infrastructures in the State. The STMP is a 30 year plan put together under series of intensive researches, studies and analyses of future transportation demands and needs of Lagos State as Nigeria’s commercial and economic hub and one of the world’s fastest growing mega cities.

The Blue Line Rail Project

Named by KPMG as one of the world’s most innovative urban infrastructure projects, the Blue Line is one of 7 railway lines planned under the STMP. It is a 27 km railroad with thirteen stations from Okokomaiko to Marina. The Blue Line is undergoing construction right in the middle of Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which the government is currently expanding and redeveloping into a ten-lane international gateway. Apart from rail, the infrastructure design also includes provision for BRT and multimode integration with Non-Motorized Transport [NMT] such as pedestrian walkways and overhead bridges for safe access by passengers to rail and bus stations.

All survey work, a proportion of the detailed design work and mobilisation of contractor was completed between August 2009 and August 2010. The fixed infrastructure is to be implemented in phases and actual construction work commenced with a ground breaking ceremony attended by His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on 26th July 2010. Construction works are ongoing for the first phase section between National Theatre and Mile 2. The infrastructure for the first phase is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2014 while operation would commence after the conclusion of negotiation with the concessionaire, which is expected to provide the rolling stock, operate and manage the rail line.

Proposed Trains: The types of trains proposed for the Blue Line Rail Project are Electric Multiple Units (EMUs). EMUs are emissions free and therefore do not pose problems of environmental pollution usually associated with conventional diesel locomotives. EMUs are proven to be more efficient and easier to maintain than diesel locomotives. 
Initially, the Blue Line will carry 400,000 passengers daily with capacity increased to 700,000 passengers daily when the rail route becomes fully operational. To incorporate the use of EMUs, a depot including power generating plant has been proposed for construction at the final western most station, Okokomaiko. The depot will serve as train maintenance and repair yard, sidings, final train destination, office complex and power station.

The selected concessionaire will be responsible for providing rolling stock, operations and maintenance for a 25-year period. These include station operations, staffing, maintenance, ticketing, cleaning, information, services kiosk, centres and all other services needed to provide excellent train services for passengers.

Once the Blue Line becomes operational, rail public transport will be incorporated into the integrated ticketing and fare systems making travel between different modes a seamless operation. This seamless approach will also be applied to provision of information about other transport modes and timetables between different modes [BRT, LRT, Ferry, etc.] at rail stations to enable precision journey planning.