|In a bid to meet international standard, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), operators of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme in the city, has said it is set to restructure its operations to give Lagos commuters the best.
The Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, Dr. Dayo Moberola, who made this known during a chat with journalists, said the existing infrastructure for the scheme was over-stretched because it was currently carrying more than three hundred per cent of the number of passengers it was originally designed to cater for.
Apart from regulation of the operation of the BRT, LAMATA also the agency in charge of the development of a light rail system and ferry service under the state’s integrated transport scheme.
The LAMATA boss said that the existing infrastructure for the scheme was over-stretched because it was currently carrying more than three hundred per cent of the number of passengers it was originally designed to cater for.
Moberola, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, also disclosed that a master plan that would guide future development of transportation in the state had been completed.
He said, When we designed the scheme we wanted to be carrying 60,000 passengers daily. The reason for that was that we did not know how the people of Lagos State would embrace it. Therefore, we said, okay; let us do something small as a pilot scheme. For us to even test all our parameters, all the theories, and all the knowledge that we have all brought back from overseas. Based on that, we designed the corridor to carry 60,000 passengers per day, but upon the commencement of the operation, we knew that the demand was more than the 60,000 we estimated.
“Within two or three weeks, it had moved up to about 90,000 passengers and within a month we started carrying about 120,000 passengers per day. As at today, the average figure is 220,000 passengers. From the cumulative figures that we have, it has carried over 100 million passengers in the 21 months of operation.”
The starting point for the review, according to him, is the extension of the existing Mile 12-CMS lane to Ikorodu, adding that the preliminary work has been completed for the project proper to commence next year.He said funding was a major challenge in implementing the BRT scheme and other components of the integrated transport system, stressing that it was a capital intensive project.
Government, he noted, had to absorb the cost of developing the infrastructure to make the running of the operation by private firms smooth and charge affordable fares.
For instance, he also spoke on the BRT fare, which he said that was moderated by the government to make it affordable for majority of the people.
He said,” “f we are going to say that we are going to recoup the amount of money we are investing on infrastructure, the cost of BRT will be N1,000 instead of N100 people are paying now. And that will not be affordable for the people of Lagos State and the masses will not enjoy it anymore.”