Judging by the crowds cramming onto the trains at rush hour, Lagos’s new light rail service – linking the island to the mainland – is a big hit.
Christiana, a businesswoman who works on the island but lives on the mainland in Nigeria’s commercial hub, told the BBC’s Africa Daily podcast that it was “stress-free” compared to taking the bus or driving.
Other commuters told presenter Alan Kasujja that they used to spend up to eight hours travelling to and from work on the city’s notoriously clogged-up roads. But since the Blue Line opened at the beginning of September, travel time has been reduced to a total of 90 minutes at the most.
One shopkeeper said that this allowed her to stay at work longer and take advantage of the evening business.
At peak times, each train – made up of four carriages – can take about 1,000 passengers. Alan saw how crowded it can get with people appearing to push others out of the way to get a seat.
One woman decided to wait on the platform for the next train.
“I don’t want to inhale someone else’s body odour,” she told Alan.
The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, which runs the Chinese-built line, says it hopes to increase the frequency of trains as well as expand the network beyond just the one line.
One end-to end trip on the train costs around $0.90 (£0.76), which the authority says is affordable, but at that price the service is losing money and it will have to look for other revenue sources, an official told Africa Daily.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|