Gridlock-prone Lagos gets new train line

Published March 1, 2024
Lagos: Guests and dignitaries are seen on board the Red Line train at a station during its inauguration by Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Thursday.—AFP
Lagos: Guests and dignitaries are seen on board the Red Line train at a station during its inauguration by Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Thursday.—AFP

LAGOS: Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Thursday launched a new train line in Lagos, the country’s most populous city, which is struggling with poor public transport and huge traffic jams.

The Red Line is the second urban rail link in Nigeria’s economic capital and

officials say it will eventually carry around 500,000 passengers a day. The first 37-kilometre (23-mile) stretch links eight stations between the northern Agbado district in neighbouring Ogun state with the Oyingbo district in the heart of the megacity.

Tinubu said the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority had “demonstrated that agencies of government

can be made to succeed and work for the people.” “There’s more work to be done,” he said, warning there was “no room for complacency.” From a population of around 200,000 in the 1960s, Lagos now has more than 20 million inhabitants and is neck and neck with Kinshasa in the

DR Congo for the title of Africa’s most populous city.

The Climate Central NGO says Lagos could become the world’s most populous city by 2100. More public train, bus and ferry links are considered vital to curb the lagoon-side city’s heaving traffic.

The Red Line joins the Blue Line, which opened in September 2023 and can carry up to 250,000 people a day from Marina on Lagos Island to the Mile 2 area on the mainland. The two lines are set to be part of a vast citywide transit network, with another five train lines due to open over the next few years.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2024

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