The Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode said yesterday that the state government has concluded plans to roll out its Bus Reform Project (BRP) in March this year with 820 high and medium capacity buses.
Ambode, who said this during an inspection tour of ongoing projects across the state, said the BRP initiative was basically designed to inject 5,000 buses and modern terminals into the state’s transportation system with a view to facilitating ease of mobility for residents and rev up the Lagos economy.
Inspecting the assembling plant at Awoyaya, in the Ibeju Lekki area of the state, which is also serving as the temporary holding bay for 500 out of the 820 buses, the governor expressed optimism that the buses would be rolled out after the elections, while the next phase of the project would be to assemble the buses in Lagos.
“This is an assembling plant. The dream is that beyond the procurement of 820 buses by government, the next set of buses in the vision should be assembled in Lagos in this plant and another one in Epe.
“In this scale, we will run with the 820. The next scale, which is the next phase, is for Nigerians to be able to assemble the buses in Lagos. We will create employment opportunities and also allow the gross domestic product of Lagos to grow. The buses are ready and we think with everything we have done, we should be able to roll out these buses, maybe immediately after the elections,” he said.
Ambode said though the 5,000 buses would not be enough for the state, starting the project was creating the conducive atmosphere to allow the private sector to participate in the arrangement and provide additional buses.
Among the projects inspected by the governor and his team were the Oshodi Transport Interchange, which is 85 per cent completed; the bus depots at Oshodi, Yaba and Oyingbo to be ready by March; the International Airport Road to be ready by early May; Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT corridor to be delivered by April and the vehicle assembling plant at Awoyaya in Ibeju Lekki.
The governor disclosed that the bus depots are equipped with facilities such as the depot office, a dormitory, a 30,000-litre underground tank, a 30,000-litre overhead tank, an automated and elevated car wash, toilets, a fuel dump, utility buildings, a central spare parts workshop and operational offices, as well as equipment for the maintenance of the buses.
Each of the 820 buses, which Ambode said had already been delivered, was said to be equipped with a security camera, a USB point, internet, a television and special spaces for the physically challenged, pregnant women and the aged.