Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has procured additional rolling stocks for the Blue Line and Red Line rail operations.
Sanwo-Olu said the additional rolling stocks, which would bring more relief to millions of Lagos residents, were expected to arrive in Lagos from China before the end of 2024.
The Lagos State team through its partners, was able to secure an agreement for the additional rolling stocks, to be delivered before the end of 2024, as against the normal two-year period that it took for the construction company to build the coaches.
Speaking during a high-level meeting of Lagos State officials with the President and management of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) at its headquarters in Beijing, China, on Thursday, Sanwo-Olu reiterated his administration’s commitment to the completion of the second phase of the Blue Line rail project.
He said the government was also committed to flag off the commercial operations of the Red Line rail project.
”We have made requests for additional rolling stocks for Red Line and Blue Line. That conversation is ongoing.
“We have started making payments and hope that because of our commitment, we will get those rolling stocks before the end of the year.
”It would improve the journey experience of our people. It would improve citizens’ appreciation of what the government is doing to reduce transportation pressure in a big city like Lagos.
“With the new rolling stocks, we will have a more predictable journey time; the commuters and passengers would be more committed and we will see an improvement in the quality of lives and reduction of traffic gridlocks in the city,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He informed the CCECC team that his government had promised over 22 million residents that it would solve the traffic and transportation challenges they currently faced hence the need for the red line to take off without any further delay.
”We are happy that during our tenure, we were able to complete phase one of the Blue Line and not just completing, we started its operation and now we are seeing an increase in the passenger traffic every month. We have also increased the number of trips.
”People expect a lot more from us and that is why we are committed to the phase two of the project. The work has started and we are trying to make money available for you (CCECC) to continue to push.
“I have said to people that within our second term, we should complete phase two of the Blue Line.
”For the Red Line, which is even more exciting for us because we started the construction during our administration; we are happy that phase one of it is practically completed and I am happy to invite you when Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would be commissioning the Red Line. We are still hoping to commission it within this February.
”We believe the Red Line will carry more passengers than the Blue Line. The Red Line is longer and it has a lot of other infrastructure. All the bridge components that we are committed to have, have been completed and commissioned, with the exception of the one in Mushin.
”I want you to encourage the Federal Government to also complete their bridge components of the Red Line so that we can have a rail system that would not have any incident of traffic or interaction with vehicles or passengers and we can wall off and ensure it is a very safe rail corridor.
”There are a lot of interactions on the Red Line, so we need to ensure that we operate a rail corridor that is very safe for passengers, citizens and vehicular movement,” the governor said.
He said that the government was also advancing conversation on the right of way at the corridor for phase two of the Red Line, which would take it based onto the connection of the Blue Line.
”That makes it a lot more functional because what it means is that passengers can hop in and hop out between the Red Line and Blue Line when phase two is completed,” Sanwo-Olu said.
During the meeting with the President and management of CCECC, the governor also had trade and investment discussions.
He also inspected one of the project sites of the China Railway Construction Group in Beijing, China, and was conducted around the major project facility of the Chinese construction company.
The fact-finding mission is connected to Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s plan for the construction of some major infrastructural projects in Lagos State and his determination to increase the infrastructure stock of Lagos, especially in transportation.
The governor’s official visit to China was in line with his administration’s promise to deliver a multimodal transportation system for Lagos residents.