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FILE: People stand next to the light rail blue line at the inauguration ceremony of the Lagos light rail blue line at Marina Station in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 24, 2023. /CFP

Lagos set to increase train trips on Chinese-built metro rail

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Authorities in Nigeria’s largest city are set to switch train operations to electricity and increase the number of train trips operating on the famous Blue Line starting Monday, October 16.

According to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, rail services on the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Blue Line will be interrupted through the weekend to enable the changes to be implemented.

The Governor added that the new changes will see the number of train trips on the line increase from 12 to 54, and that plans are underway to have 74 trips by the end of November.

“I’m proud to say that we launched the first phase of the LRMT Blue Line on September 4, 2023 and we have moved over 80,000 passengers. Our goal is to surpass 150,000 daily passengers between Marina and Mile 2 in the coming months,” he said.

The Lagos light rail services were launched on September 4 as the most populous city in Africa sought to ease its chronic travel congestion.

Built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, the rail links the mainland part of the city, where most residents reside, with Lagos Island, which mainly houses businesses.

According to projections by Lagos officials, journeys that took more than two hours now only take 15 minutes.

Construction of the second phase of the rail project is expected to begin later this year and on completion the metro is expected to carry some 500,000 passengers daily, officials say.

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