Delay in Lagos Red Line metro operations sparks concerns

By Innocent Raphael 

The commencement of commercial operations for Lagos State’s second metro train, the Red Line, is unlikely before the end of the third quarter of this year, according to recent reports.

This ongoing delay has raised concerns, especially since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inaugurated the project on February 29.

Critics argue that the state government should not have pushed for the project’s inauguration if it wasn’t ready for use. Work on the Red Line began in October 2021, under a Federal Government COVID-19 palliative initiative, supported by the Central Bank and six commercial banks, aimed at completing the Blue Line and constructing the Red Line, which runs along the national rail network.

Completed after three years, the Red Line’s commercial rollout is delayed due to safety concerns. The line, spanning 13 kilometres, runs through key areas including Oyingbo, Yaba, Mushin, Oshodi, Ikeja, Agege, Iju, and Agbado in Ogun State.

The Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) is focused on securing the entire track before starting operations, replacing the previous wire mesh fencing with a more secure concrete wall.

Construction delays have also affected the Mushin and Agbado train stations. Efforts are being accelerated to complete these stations to ensure seamless operation upon commencement.

The delay may benefit the arrival of additional coaches from China Rail Manufacturing Corporation (CRMC), where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered six units, with three each for the Blue and Red Lines, enhancing passenger capacity.

A source from LAMATA noted that no specific timeline was provided for the Red Line’s commercial launch, emphasizing the agency’s commitment to safety and operational excellence. The Blue Line, for instance, began operations several months after its commissioning.

Despite being diesel-propelled, the Red Line’s safety measures are meticulously planned to ensure passenger security. The source urged residents, particularly those in border communities, to remain patient as safety enhancements are completed.

When fully operational, the Red Line’s first phase from Oyingbo to Agbado is expected to transport about 500,000 passengers monthly, potentially increasing to 1.5 million as the line expands.

Source: The Nation

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