For the first time ever, a train now travels from Lagos island through the western part of the state. Members of the female professionals for Sanwolu Initiative are amongst the various groups who have also set out to gain a first-hand experience on the blue line.
Wednesday is a very busy day at the Marina Train Station as visitors come from within and outside Lagos with a view to taking a tour of the station and as well a ride on the train. Barrister Omowunmi Ogungbaibi, Convener of the FPS Ladies, who led the ladies expressed her excitement about the blue Line describing it as one that measures up to standards when compared with other stations in the western world.
‘’ It’s extra ordinary, I feel as if I’m out of the country, I feel as if I’m out of Nigeria. We must give it to the government of Governor Babajide Sanwolu. You can bring students here on excursion, instead of taking them out to see something similar abroad. I feel as if I’m in Dubai, or Germany being on this train. I feel as if I’m out of the country. This is Sanwo’s London. Its durable, it’s beautiful, its fun. No friction. It’s laudable.”
Another member of the Group Omobolanle Dabiri, a Broadcaster described the Blue Line as one which sets Lagos apart from other states in the country as well as cities within the West African Sub-region.
“This is Lagos, evolving from the 70s till now that we are in the millennial years, and we have a blue rail line that is moving at the speed of light, the Architect being our Governor Babajide Sanwolu. He has taken Lagos to the 21st Century already, and we are glad that we have someone like him as the chief driver in Lagos State. ”
The Blue Line covers a 27 kilometer route from Okokomaiko to Lagos Marina, with 13 stations and an end-to-end journey time of 35 minutes. For most Lagosians, this is much more than an infrastructure that eases transportation within the metropolis. It also gives many the opportunity to enjoy the view of the city and its aquatic splendor.
Other Lagosians on the train who also shared their experiences with AV1 News, described the ride as one which eases the stress of the usual hustle and bustle of transportation within the city.
‘’I drive in Lagos, and I know how busy the road is, especially in the morning hours like this. Today, on my way to Lagos, I had to pass through Akpogbon, and it was a hellish experience, I had a delay of about twenty-five minutes. So now joining the train from Marina to Alaba, I discovered that I had to spend just twenty minutes, which is quite commendable. ” – Dr. Olusola Ogunleye, Medical Practitioner.
“Sitting on the blue rail line, you can see everywhere. In fact, I am seeing so many places I have never seen before. “ -Princess Oyindamola Adegoke
”We are on the blue line which pretty much passes through the water area and yes this is pretty much like the docklands rail that goes all the way from canary wharf, Stratford and other parts of London.” – Oluwatoyin Ademuyiwa, Childcare practitioner.
‘’Seeing this development happen in Nigeria is a wonderful experience. It is a pointer to the fact that we are moving in the right direction. ‘’ – Olusesan Dada, Member APC Independent Campaign Council.
Director Rail Transport, Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engineer Olasunkanmi Okusaga speaking to AV1 News explained that the Blue line also operates a secure and exclusive right-of-way, with no level crossings and no uncontrolled access by pedestrians or vehicles. According to him, the state government plans to leverage on the blue Line’s prospect as a tourist attraction.
” Transport infrastructure drive volumes, drives crowd, drives employment, ecommerce, drives everything together, and Tourism is part it. This is an iconic building. You can see the view yourself. The Tourism society of Nigeria came here recently and they had a ride on the Train. They were excited about coming here and we already knew its going to be Tourism oriented. And that’s why we designed the station to have a good view where people can relax and people can take pictures. We event went beyond that, there’s something we call Marina interchange that we are doing, and that’s another game changer, it’s in the pipeline and we will do it in one or two years. ‘’
He also spoke shed light on plans to sustain maintenance of the station explaining that it is one which is paramount to the government as it plans to leverage on the Blue Line’s prospects as a Tourist attraction.
“We understand how rail way works. Railway transportation is capital intensive. And the maintenance is key. We have a maintenance regime in place, and we have incorporated that into the concessionaire agreement. Going forward, we have to benchmark against international standards and best practices.
Continuity and sustainability of the Lagos blueprint plan is one which no doubt has come to stay even with the re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwolu a development which is expected to take Lagos to the next level as a must visit destination in Africa.