In a historic moment for Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, along with other government officials and stakeholders, took the inaugural ride on the long-awaited Lagos Blue Line Rail as it commenced operations today. The highly anticipated rail service, managed by the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), officially opened its doors to the public after facing delays due to the completion of crucial electricity infrastructure.
The Lagos Blue Line Rail project was commissioned by former President Buhari in December 2022, marking a significant milestone in the state’s transportation development. However, the commencement of commercial operations, initially planned for the first quarter of 2023, was postponed due to delays in finalizing the essential power infrastructure required for the rail’s electric operation.
Despite these challenges, LAMATA worked tirelessly to ensure a seamless transition into full-scale operations. Abimbola Akinajo, Managing Director of LAMATA, expressed confidence in the rail’s readiness during a press briefing last Wednesday. “We are here to say that we are completely ready in terms of all operational infrastructure,” Akinajo affirmed.
Here are key details about the Lagos Blue Line Rail:
- Daily Ridership: According to the LAMATA feasibility study, approximately 175,000 passengers are expected to use the Blue Line rail on a daily basis.
- Electric-Powered Operation: This marks the first electric-powered rail operation in Lagos, emphasizing the meticulous planning that went into ensuring safety, health, and operational efficiency.
- Operating Hours: The rail service will run daily from 6.30 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.
- Initial Route: The rail service will begin with 12 daily trips from Mile 2 to Marina for at least two weeks, gradually increasing to 30 trips after four weeks.
- Timetable: Passengers can access the rail timetable on LAMATA’s website and at every station.
- Efficiency: Trains are scheduled to stop for no more than 90 seconds, ensuring a punctual service.
- Route: The Blue Line Rail extends from Marina to Mile 2, with stations located in Marina, National Theatre, Iganmu, Alaba, and Orile.
- Payment: Passengers will use a cowry card for boarding and are prohibited from eating or drinking on the train.
- Fare Reduction: Governor Sanwo-Olu announced a fare reduction, with passengers now paying N375 from Mile 2 to Marina.
Safety Measures: Commuters are strongly advised against crossing the rail tracks to avoid electrocution, with overhead bridges provided by the government for safe crossing.