BY GEORGE OKOJIE,
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday revealed that the first set of 5000 brand new buses under the Bus Reform Initiative would be flagged off within the next six months to ensure safety of Lagos commuters.
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 revolutionalise the transportation system in the State and improve the way and manner 23 million Lagosians commute daily.
Fielding questions from the visiting students, Ambode alluded to the fact that an integrated transportation system was key to growing the economy of the State, Ambode 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.”
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.
Earlier, immediate past Vice President, International Affairs of Harvard Kennedy School, Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji said the team was proud of the exploits of the Governor in the last two years, noting that despite the major challenges of urbanisation Lagos was facing, there was appreciable level of progress.