Bus Rapid Transit in Lagos

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TABLE OF CONTENT
1.INTRODUCTION

2.BUS RAPID TRANSIT

3.FINANCING THE OPERATING FLEET

4.INSTITUTIONAL AND REGULATORY CONTEXT

5.CREATION OF THE LAMATA

6.THE INTRODUCTION OF LAGOS BRTS

7.THE BENEFITS OF BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM

8.SUMMARY

9.CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION OF BUS RAPID TRANSIT (BRT) AS A PANACEA TO TRANSPORTATION PROBLEM IN LAGOS

INTRODUCTION

Lagos city, Nigeria’s commercial capital, is one the most population dense cities in Africa. Consequently, traffic congestion had become a daily reality for its residents. The lack of a functioning public transport system spurred on the development of the informal transportation industry. The problem of Lagos is insufficient transport infrastructure, such as roads, railway and waterways.

As the commercial capital of Nigeria and with a population of 17 million (the sixth largest city in the world), its highways are often extremely congested, partly because of the city’s layout. There is currently no organized mass transit system in the city and public transport services are of very poor quality and delivered mostly by individual bus operators.

It’s no news to say that traffic jam is a hard nut every government has found very difficult to crack in Lagos. The two main buses utilized by commuters are the “molue” and “danfo”, the former being a distinctive yellow commercial bus and the latter being a mini-bus.

MOLUEDANFO

The Lagos State government, recognizing its herculean task of having to set up an effective and affordable transport system within Lagos city, decided to implement the BRTS.

The recent introduction of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) has sought to improve transportation in the state. The BRTS has been internationally touted as cost-effective transportation solution. Cheaper than building or upgrading railway systems, with much of the integration of a rail system, the BRTS is a fully integrated transport system with set routes, special lanes and buses with level boarding.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems that use buses to provide a service that is of a higher speed than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling. The goal of these systems is to approach the service quality of rail transit while still enjoying the cost savings of bus transit.

BRT is a transport option, which relies on the use of dedicated ‘interference’ free segregated lanes to guarantee fast and reliable bus travel. The BRT buses run on physically segregated lanes and thus make them run faster in a situation where there is traffic congestion. It is one of the several options available for tackling the huge public transport predicaments of Lagos.

This BRT system is the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, and is the

only example of a comprehensive and integrated approach to improving public transport. The project draws from best practice examples of Bogota (Columbia) and Curitiba (Brazil) but adapts the concept to African context, as BRT ‘Lite’ (i.e. a high-quality bus system that is affordable in the local context while retaining as many of the most desirable BRT characteristics as possible). Other options include the light rail, heavy rail, subway metro and traditional bus systems. The light and heavy rails as well as the subway metro systems are appropriate, but very expensive to construct and operate. The traditional bus service is highly patronized because it is flexible and inexpensive.

Financing the Operating Fleet
Two contrasting approaches were taken to financing the large buses needed for the BRT-Lite system. In one approach, 100 new buses were procured by the private sector without any direct public support. In the second, 120 buses were procured by a state-owned company and then leased to the private sector operator (an...
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