The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu recently launched 500 First and Last Mile (FLM) buses - the first of a fleet of 5000 buses that the Lagos State government plans to commission as an additional means of transportation for its inhabitants. The new buses are to provide inclusive, safe and convenient public transportation access for commuters on 286 residential routes to link to the main transit corridors where Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses do not operate.
Recommendations for improving first and last mile journeys in urban areas is a priority focus area for Future Cities Nigeria, with its technical teams in Lagos and Ogun State working in collaboration with the respective government agencies since August 2019. With the rapid population growth in both cities, and the resulting traffic congestion, conventional transportation systems have struggled to meet the needs of urban commuters.
In Lagos, transportation has been predominantly road based, and the high population (estimated at 20 million and growing at a rate of 5% each year) coupled with inadequate infrastructure, has led to massive congestion in the city. The economic activity lost to traffic congestion is estimated at £5.3million daily. Congestion at the Lagos ports, due to poor access to rail networks has also exacerbated the problem, causing long queues of trucks that congest the roads to and from the ports, resulting in an estimated economic loss of £40 million daily.
Intermodal transport is universally regarded as an easier and more efficient way to navigate crowded urban environments by combining different transportation modes including road, rail, and water. It also has the added benefit of helping to reduce congestion, road traffic accidents, energy consumption, greenhouse-gas emissions, and dependence on fossil fuel.
The work of FCN has been focused on improving intermodal transportation with recommendations to expand the Lagos waterways for the transportation of goods and passengers, and effectively link the ferry ports to other modes of transport for the completion of journeys.
Following an in-depth review of the Lagos Strategic Transport Masterplan (LSTMP), produced by The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), FCN has developed of an outline business case (OBC) to facilitate the implementation of the Lagos State vision of integrated intermodal transportation.
The objectives of the OBC includes; establishing the commercial viability of the expansion of the waterway and setting out the strategic direction for attracting private sector investment; improving Lagos State Governments capacity to deliver and manage the process; and setting out the best procurement framework for the licensing and operation for the newly recommended ferry routes.
After extensive review of existing data and the collation of new data via surveys, site inspections, passenger demand modelling, fieldwork as well as regular engagements with a wide variety of stakeholder groups, detailed recommendations were developed for seamless last mile connectivity for passengers to transfer from the ferry services to other public transport or private vehicle options. When identifying the four new ferry routes, key considerations included parking spaces, smooth accessibility for all passenger needs including the physically challenged and the elderly, and access to existing bus and rail routes for seamless connectivity.
One example is the Ikorodu – Addax – Five Cowries route:
Intermodal transportation connectivity means that someone who lives in a suburban residential area in Ikorodu and works off Bourdillon Road in Ikoyi, Lagos, need only go a short distance from their home to access a public transport bus to the ferry terminal at Ebute Ojo for their onward journey to the ferry terminal at Five Cowries, from where they can then access one of the new fleet of Lagos State FLM buses which will take them to the streets off the main thoroughfare of Bourdillon road. An efficient, reliable and safe FLM journey such as this, is expected to result in more residents leaving their private cars at home to use the public transport system instead. This will lead to a reduction in road congestion, amounting to an estimated 178,000mt of CO2 emission reductions annually.
The expansion of transportation routes and greater intermodal transportation has created numerous opportunities for private sector investment opportunities in Lagos State. FCN is working with Lagos State government to attract investors in the areas of transport and urban infrastructure delivery. The size of the investment opportunities is estimated to be in the region of £179million. A Lagos Investment Roadshow is also planned for July 2021 where many of these identified opportunities will be showcased.
The expertise of FCN Technical consultants continues to be utilised in the implementation phase, with on-going work of the intervention team in the development of tender documentation and setting out the selection criteria considerations for ferry operators and suppliers.
Data Source: Future Cities Nigeria