Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday said that the first set of 5000 brand new buses under the Bus Reform Initiative, a brain child of his administration, would be flagged off within the next six months.
Governor Ambode, who spoke when students of the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Government, United States of America, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Ikeja, said that his administration was working round the clock to revolutionise the transportation system in the State and improve the way and manner 23 million Lagosians commute daily.
He said the 5000 new buses would be the first step by his administration to change the existing transportation system predominantly driven by the yellow buses, popularly known as danfo.
The Governor 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.”
Governor Ambode noted that the dependence on road transportation in the last two decades, as the major means of transportation in the State has give rise to a chaotic system where about eight million Lagosians commute across the State 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.
Besides, Governor Ambode said that State Government had made series of intervention to improve road transportation network through the creation of more bus terminals, lay bys, bus stops to accommodate the eventual take off of the Bus Reform Initiative.
The Governor also disclosed that the reforms in the water transportation system was ongoing and would take off fully within the next six to nine months, as a means to encourage residents to utilise it as an alternative means of transportation.