After years of anticipation, one of West Africa’s biggest cities, Lagos has finally inaugurated its long-awaited metro rail service, aiming to significantly reduce travel times and enhance commuting convenience within the bustling Nigerian commercial hub. The first phase, spanning 13 kilometers (8 miles), commenced operations on Monday, marking a remarkable milestone for the project that had been proposed four decades ago.
Constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corp, the Blue Line connects the populous mainland area of the city with the affluent Lagos Island, where numerous businesses have their headquarters. Despite facing funding and administrative setbacks since its initial conception in 1983, the metro system has now become operational, transporting its inaugural passengers. In an official ceremony, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was among the first commuters, expressed confidence in the security measures implemented to safeguard the rail infrastructure from vandalism.
Lagos, home to over 20 million residents, has long grappled with severe traffic congestion, leading to frustratingly long commutes for motorists and commuters alike. However, with the introduction of the new metro service, travel durations are expected to be drastically reduced. According to Lagos state officials, a journey that once consumed over two hours can now be completed in a mere 15 minutes. Looking ahead, the second phase of the rail project is slated to commence construction later this year. Upon its completion, the metro system is projected to cater to approximately 500,000 daily passengers, according to official estimates.