The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured users of the Blue Line light rail of maximum security while on board the system.
Sanwo-Olu spoke as he joined the rail line as its first passenger during its inaugural commercial operation, for the use of the masses in Lagos on Monday.
He acknowledged President Bola Tinubu for being the brain behind the achievement, by including the train in the master plan of the Lagos government.
The government said it had come to reality for Lagos residents to enjoy.
Speaking after a ride on the light rail, Sanwo-Olu expressed gratitude to the management of the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) for ensuring that safety and security of the train was properly managed throughout the journey.
He also commended the Lagos State Commissioner of Police as well as all the security agencies in Lagos for ensuring safety of lives and properties of the passengers while boarding the train.
He advised Lagos residents as well as students to obtain the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) Card and the Cowry Card, which had been integrated to board all the means of government transportation in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu said that with the light rail, he, alongside other passengers, had been able to reach many places in Lagos and return in less than an hour.
He said that the multi-modal transportation had been fully integrated in Lagos with the commencement of the blue light rail.
The Senior Special Rail Design Engineer, LAMATA, Mr Abidemi Atobatele, said that all the terminals were covered by security men and Closed Circuit Television, assuring passengers of full security within the areas.
He said that the train was electrified and pleaded with the residents not to cross over the rail area, but to make use of the pedestrian bridges.
One of the passengers, Ahmed Farida, commended the Lagos State Government for completing the light rail project, saying it would ease movement across Lagos.
“With this train, there is no stress; we are able to move around. You can work with your time, and your mental health is intact now; gone are the days we complained of traffic and all of that.
“So, we went to about five places within an hour to and fro; I must commend the working governor for this great project,” she said.
She urged Lagos residents to support government in maintaining the light rail project.
Princess Mulikat Sanni, former, President, Chartered Institute of Transport Administration (CIoTA) urged Nigerians to ensure they maintain the light train project.
Sanni said that the commencement of the rail would create more job opportunities and add value to the economy of the state.
The Managing Director, Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, had said ahead of the commencement that with feasibility study, the train system would be conveying 175,000 passengers on daily basis.
She said that though the commercial operations would have begun in the first quarter of 2023, it was delayed to ensure that all modalities were in place.
“As you know, the first phase of the blue line was commissioned, the infrastructure completion was commissioned by Mr President (Former President, Muhammadu Buhari) in December.
“At the time, we had said to you we would start operations in March. Unfortunately, we did not, by the end of the first quarter, then it was by the end of the second quarter. Unfortunately, we had hiccups with power delivery.
“We are here to say that we are completely ready in terms of all operational infrastructure. The reason that we have been delayed is due to the fact that our power provision was delayed,” Akinajo had said.
The LAMATA boss said that the train service, which would run from Mile 2 to Marina, would run 12 trips on daily basis for a period of two weeks, and the service would gradually increase.
“We will be working according to a timetable. That timetable will be available on LAMATA’s website, that timetable will also be available at every station.
“When the train gets into any station, it will stop for no more than 90 seconds. So, you need to know, and this is it, for us to understand that it is a scheduled service,” she had said.
She said that the Blue Line Rail service had five stations which comprise Marina, National Theatre, Orile-Iganmu, Alaba, and Mile 2.