In a bid to improve transport system in Lagos State, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has said as part of the Bus Reform Initiative, his administration will launch the first set of 5000 brand new buses within the next six months.
Ambode said this when a group of students of the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Government, United States of America, paid him a visit at the Lagos House in Ikeja.
The governor said the new buses would be the first step by his administration to revolutionalise the transportation system in the state.
Lagos state is known for the use of yellow buses, popularly known as danfo.
Ambode said: “In the last one year, we have decided that we must integrate rail, road water and air transportation systems in such a way that the system of connectivity is improved upon and I would like to have a direct partnership on how that can actually be actualised.
“Right now we are cleaning out all the yellow buses you see in the State. As we proceed in the next six months and a span of three years, we are introducing 5000 new buses of European standard to actually clean up the city because if you want to grow the economy of Lagos, transportation is key and then it’s a major infrastructure for tourism itself.”
The governor said overdependence on road transportation in the state in the last two decades has led to increased pressure on transportation, leading to about eight million commuters every minute.
“The question is how do you move 23 million people on a daily basis from point A to point B with ease and comfort? So the way the city has been so designed in the last few years, the city has actually concentrated on only one mode of transportation, which is road transportation. There has not been any comprehensive planning to integrate all the modes of transportation in a way that makes it easy.
“There are eight million people walking on the streets of Lagos every minute, did we create more points for them. The answer is no. We have one-fifth of the State on water, are we doing effective water transportation, the answer is no. The rail system is still under construction in such a way that it can move mass number of people from one point to another. That is why we have a whole lot of congestion on the road,” the Governor said.
Governor Ambode revealed further that reforms on water transportation is on-going and would take off fully within the next six to nine months.
Speaking earlier, Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, immediate past Vice President, International Affairs of Harvard Kennedy School, commended the governor for the work he has in the last two years, noting that despite the cruch situation in the country, Lagos is in safe hands.
“I am overwhelmed with joy that I can bring some of the brightest and the best brains in the world to come and see the beauty, the greatness, the resilience, the talent and accomplishment of Nigeria. Lagos is the staple success story of Nigeria. I know Nigeria is not where it ought to be, but I know a State that is sustaining itself by itself under a crucial administration that understands how people should feel, she said.”