By Tunde Osho
The Lagos State government has said no fewer than 3000 jobs would be created when the 13 bus terminals springing across the city finally comes on stream. This is as it disclosed that about 473 buses to flag-off operation of the bus reform would soon be arriving the country.
Speaking over the weekend during a media tour to both the Ikeja and yet to be completed Oshodi Bus Terminals, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson said the bus terminals are part of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s gift to the 12 million masses of the state, who uses public transportation daily.
He said the terminals will put an end to insecurity, unreliability, accident and mugging associated with the current commercial bus regime in the state.
Lawanson said construction is ongoing in 13 different bus terminals all aimed at ensuring that more people embrace public transportation and that sanity returns to the roads.
He said: “We have Alapere Bus Shelter, Ilupeju Bus depot, Yaba Bus Terminal, Anthony Bus depot, Maryland Bus Terminal, Agege Bus Terminal, Ojota Bus Terminal, Oyingbo Bus Terminal, Tafawa Balewa Square Bus Terminal among other proposed corridors.
“These facilities will provide over 3000 jobs for youths and increase transport connections and inter modal connectivity in the state.
His colleague, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy Kehinde Bamigbetan said the idea is to cater for low and medium income residents who cannot afford to fuel their own cars every day.
“We are expecting over 800 buses that the government has procured to kick-start operation for the benefit of the residents,” he said.
He said the Ikeja Bus Terminal is a major transportation infrastructure constructed to improve efficiency, adding that 23 routes would be serviced from the terminal and while the facility would be servicing 400,000 passengers daily. It would reduce traffic congestion, occasioned by the present street loading and dropping off of passengers and reduce environmental pollution.
Bamigbetan said the Ikeja terminal has facility to cater for 100 buses daily, adding that the government hoped to take off with the Ikeja-Obalende route before June ending.
Also speaking, the Managing Director Planet Project Mr Biodun Otunola said the Ikeja Bus Terminal which sits on 10,000 square metres of land is more than a bus stop as “some ignorant critics have lately being ranting.”
He said the facility has a sheltered walkway, 13 ticketing booths, an ATM gallery, and a food court. Also, the facility has a functional Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) which makes routes and travel planning easy. The terminal is provides conveniences for both sexes and free Wifi spot for the use of commuters.
Otunola who also took the reporters on tour of the Oshodi Bus Terminal and Interchange said the iconic terminal on completion would be servicing 300,000 passenger traffic every day, which he said is projected to hit one million in the next five years.
He said each of the three wings five-floor terminals, which would be completed with a skywalk, is the first of its kind in the world. “While Terminal One, is intercity transport, Terminal Two exclusively services intra city transportation , while Terminal Three would service Lagos Island, Ikorodu corridor. Each terminals is one five floors, has multi level car park, conveniences, six lifts and one escalator each, food court, a park and ride facility, cctv system, holding bay with capacity for 70 buses and a control centre.”
Otunola described what is going on in Lagos as revolutionary as it was the first time government is deliberately planning and providing world class facility to road transport users. He added that the facilities presently going on across the state would redefine the transportation system in the state.
He said the Oshodi interchange will be delivered by October this year.
The tour was led by the Commissioners for Transportation and Information and Strategy, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transportation Mr Taiwo Olufemi Salaam, Mamaging Director of the Lagos State Bus Services Ltd., Mr Idowu Oguntola, MD Planet Projects Ltd., Mr Biodun Otunola, directors in the Ministry of Transportation, among others.