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Full Steam Ahead: Lagos Blue Line Rail Powers the Rise of Greater Lagos


In a historic moment for the vibrant metropolis of Lagos, the long-awaited Lagos Blue Line Rail officially commenced commercial operations on September 4, 2023.

This significant milestone marked a giant leap forward in the development of Lagos’ transportation infrastructure.

The inaugural ride was led by Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who personally boarded the train and assumed the role of ride manager, demonstrating the commitment of the government to this transformative project.

Rush Hour

Below is a video of the Marina Station of the Lagos Blue Line Rail during closing hours, this video was recorded as at 6:30pm on Friday, 8th of August. The train is always filled to the brim during rush hours in the morning and evening. This #BlueLineRail is changing the transportation experience of Lagosians.

A Historic Ride

Governor Sanwo-Olu, along with his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and other dignitaries, embarked on the historic ride from the Marina station to Mile 2. The journey, which typically took between 17 and 20 minutes, included brief 90-second stops at each station before reaching its final destination. During the ride, Governor Sanwo-Olu took the opportunity to interact with passengers and explain the requirements for using the rail system.

The Importance of the Cowry Card

In an interactive session with journalists, Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasized the significance of the Cowry card, which residents need to purchase to access the rail service. He also issued a warning against pedestrians crossing the electrified rail tracks, underlining the importance of safety measures.

Acknowledging the Visionaries

Governor Sanwo-Olu expressed gratitude to former President Bola Tinubu for his role in formulating the comprehensive transportation master plan in Lagos. This visionary plan encompasses not only the rail system but also waterways and road infrastructure. Additionally, the governor announced that the Red Line rail project, which is nearly complete, would be commissioned by the President before the end of the year, further expanding the city’s transportation network.

The Blue Line’s Impressive Features

The Managing Director of LAMATA, Engr. Abimbola Akiajo, provided key insights into the Blue Line’s operations. During the initial two weeks, the train will run 12 trips daily for test-running purposes. Once fully operational, it is set to run 76 trips daily, serving passengers from 5:30 am to 10 pm and accommodating a staggering 175,000 commuters daily. The trains will maintain strict schedules, with a maximum stop time of 90 seconds at each station.

Safety Measures and Technology Integration

To ensure passenger safety, the rail tracks have been electrified, and 300 cameras have been installed at every station and along the tracks. However, passengers are reminded that eating or drinking on the train will not be permitted. The fare for each trip during the initial phase will be N375, thanks to a 50% reduction initiated by the governor. This rate will increase to N750 when the reduction is eventually lifted.

A Trailblazing Achievement

The Lagos Blue Line Rail project represents a historic achievement for Lagos State. It is the first sub-national government in Africa to fund and deliver a rail system from its balance sheet. Connecting the mainland and Lagos Island, the Blue Line is set to transform the lives of Lagosians by offering efficient and modern transportation. The completed first phase includes five stations at Mile 2, Alaba, Orile-Iganmu, National Theatre, and Marina. The Marina station serves as a major interchange for various modes of transportation, including water and road.

An Integration of Technology

The Blue Line boasts numerous technological innovations, including electrified rail tracks, unified payment through the Cowry Card, and world-standard automated cars equipped with audio and visual communication systems. The trains are also equipped with speedometers to deter speeds exceeding 80 km/hour.

A Smarter, More Accessible Lagos

The Blue Line will significantly reduce road traffic congestion, benefiting commuters from the mainland, Badagry, Surulere, Orile, and Iganmu. This development will boost business transactions, enhance the environment, and expedite transportation deliveries. It is expected to attract foreign partnerships and private investments, ultimately increasing the state’s revenue.

A Bright Future for Lagos

The inauguration of the Lagos Blue Line Rail system represents the culmination of decades of visionary planning and diligent implementation by successive administrations. With the second phase currently under construction, the project’s daily capacity is expected to reach 500,000 passengers. This development aligns seamlessly with the Sanwo-Olu administration’s vision for an integrated transport system, positioning Lagos as a global smart city that offers multimodal transportation options, including road, rail, and waterwaysβ€”all integrated through the Cowry Card payment system. Lagos is rising, and the Blue Line is propelling it toward a brighter future.

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