The impact of ICT on intermodal and intermodal transportation in Nigeria
Overview of transportation in Nigeria
Transportation is the basis for economic, social and political development in most societies as it exhibits a close relationship to the style and quality of living of the society. Transportation plays an important role in the day-to -day activities of the society. Some of the roles it plays in our societies are the subject of this paper. This paper therefore attempts to illustrate the roles and impacts of transportation in Nigerian society by considering such roles as social, economic political and environmental. Each of the roles is discussed in some detail and at the end of the day transportation is seen in its two conflicting sides positive side and negative side. It is a well known fact that transportation is the pivot around which the wheel of every modern economy revolves. The efficiency with which people, goods and services can move from one point to the other largely determines the quality of life of the society. The attendant chaotic traffic that greeted the repair of the third mainland bridge has, therefore, made it imperative the need for a developed, functional and effective intermodal transportation system in Nigeria. Intermodal transportation system pertains to the availability of more than one form of transportation such as road, rail, air and water on a single journey. Intermodal transportation is the movements of passengers or freight from one mode of transport to another, commonly taking place at a terminal specifically designed for such purpose. For instance, a good model of intermodal transportation should allow a commuter from Port Harcourt in Rivers state to Ile-Ife in Osun State to connect Lagos by water, and then connect Ibadan from Lagos by rail before making the final lap of the journey from Ibadan to Ile-Ife by road. It is obvious that this type of conveyance will definitely reduce travel time and cost. Our over reliance on a poorly maintained and inadequate network of roads has been the bane of a developed transportation system in Nigeria. Our rail system has almost gone moribund due to lack of attention from successive government at the centre. At independence in 1960, over five decades of rail development by the British colonial rulers had provided over 3,000 kilometres of tracks. The last tracks were added way back in 1964 to raise the network to 3,506 kilometres. Its importance to the economy is reflected in the fact that, in 1961, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) moved three million tons of goods and 11 million passengers. Years of neglect, corruption and mismanagement had by 2004 reduced NRC to lifting only 60,000 of goods and 1.8 million passengers and less than 10,000 tons in 2007. Rail transportation clearly offers the best mode in mass transit. One seventy-five foot wide rail corridor can carry the same number of persons per hour as a sixteen lane expressway. Rail travel is six times safer than highway travel and worldwide, the safest mode of all. Needed transportation capacity can be added to many corridors for a lower cost with modernized or new high speed rail. Trains consume less energy and emit fewer pollutants per passenger mile than most other forms of travel. Increased travel by rail stimulates economic activity and spurs private investment in urban areas and central business districts around rail stations. Rail is the most comfortable and enjoyable form of intercity travel. It allows more room and provides fewer restrictions on personal freedoms than other modes. Even though only the coastal states can avail the opportunity that water transportation offers, most states in the coastal region have not been proactive enough to take that advantage by building jetties, dredging and clearing their waterways to encourage a private sector driven ferry services operation. Ferry operations have proven worldwide to be an effective and efficient tool in relieving road...
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