Lagos rail mass transit: Benefits and opportunities for investors

The story of rail transportation in Nigeria cannot be complete without Lagos, the country’s commercial nerve centre heavily populated with human and material resources, strategically located and accessible to many parts of the world.
The rail sector in Nigeria has chequered history in terms of moving passengers and freight.
Lagos is, arguably, the largest city in Sub-Saharan Africa and, as the country’s most prosperous city, it has become the hub of business. Its economy has grown rapidly just like its population. Movement of goods and people has become crucial, not only for the state as a entity, but also for the economy.
On assumption of office as governor, Babatunde Fashola came up with the idea of building a rail line otherwise known as Blue Line to connect Marina, the state’s economic heartbeat, and Badagry, a sprawling suburb and the ancient slave trade town in the state.
The goal of the Blue Line is mainly to reduce traffic gridlock in the metropolis, particularly along the Okokomaiko to Marina corridor and also to facilitate development of economic activities as well as promote the use of public transportation along the Lagos-Badagry axis. The rail line will be approximately 27 kilometers in length.
The initial line to be developed as part of the Lagos Urban Rail Network will be the Blue Line which will run from Lagos Island West to Okokomaiko. Under the project, thirteen passenger stations will serve the line; some of which will interface with Bus Rapid Transit service. The station at Iddo, Ebute Ero and Marina will also serve the Red Line, which will run north from Marina to Agbado.
The Blue Line fixed infrastructure will consist of double track, each signaled track for bi-directional traffic flow, all of which will be grade separated. A key element of the infrastructure will be a 800-meter, 4-track railway bridge spanning the Lagoon from Lagos Island to Iddo terminal of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) on the mainland.
The main objective of the rail system is to create a mass transit system for the state that will reduce traffic congestion and travel time so that the state can continue in its role as the commercial capital of Nigeria. The goal of government is to develop and implement a transport system that meets the highest international standards of technical excellence and harness the energy and efficiency of the private sector. A key element of the transport system will be the Lagos Urban Rail Network.
It was against this background that the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) was established by the state government to be the main instrument for transforming the state’s transport network and facilitating the development of a sustainable and effective integrated transport system.
In terms of investment opportunities, the Blue Line corridor is expected to have 1000 station parking spaces. Opportunities exist for investors on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis through a design, build operate and transfer (DBOT) model to provide parking along the whole corridor or to build a strategic set of parking locations.
Commercial advertisement opportunities also exist on rail cars and electronic digital displays on passenger information systems, electronic and print medium bill boards at station platform areas, and on top of station buildings along the rail corridor.
There are also opportunities for branded station bus tops, shelters and taxi parking ranks. There will be opportunities to develop shopping facilities for fast food, newspapers and confectionary kiosks, flower stalls, vending machines, ATM Centers and other commercial activities.
The post Lagos rail mass transit: Benefits and opportunities for investors appeared first on BusinessDay : News you can trust .
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