Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Rant:: The Future of Lagos Traffic

‎Public transport in Lagos (and indeed many parts of South West Nigeria) is a big mess. So much so that every middle-class young adult wants to buy a car. Add that to our societal obsession with "big-ness", State and Local governments that tar the insides of their pockets rather than roads, and our rapidly growing population - and you're going to end up with a transportation crisis in the near future.

The likes of which we've never seen before.

In Lagos (and in other states), the roads need to work. Contractors like the CCECC should not be allowed to spend multiple years making critical roads like the Ikorodu road. Old roads should be proactively expanded and new ones constructed.

The widely available means of public transportation (buses, taxis and trains) need to be relentlessly upgraded. Thankfully because I can afford not to, there's absolutely NO WAY under the sun I'm going to dress up for work and get into a danfo. Not even on one of my jeans days.‎ I lost so many jean-trousers to buses in Lagos that I basically decided one day a few weeks ago - never again. BRT buses need to be well maintained and kept clean. Young professionals need to be able to get in a Bus fully dressed for work, and not fear that they will end up with any one of a thousand possible stains.

More unconventional methods, like water transportation, need to be regulated for safety - and made more widely accessible. Train stations with huge car parks (ala drive your car to the station, take the train to/fro work, and drive back home) need to link up the entire Lagos mainland.

‎Roads need to be made safe for cyclists. Every time I see Michael Ross cycle to work in Suits, I wish I could do something similar in Lagos. But no way mehn - except I want to end up in Igbobi.

This won't be easy.

One drive through Lagos, and you will see that the magnitude of work needing to be done to revamp public transportation in Lagos is overwhelming. Let's not even talk about what we will do with our dear "agberos".

A lot of money needs to be spent educating road-users. A lot of money will need to go into upgrading transportation infrastructure. A lot of money needs to go into harnessing the largely untapped workforce represented by the thousands of "agberos" that dot Lagos...

But the alternative is much worse. At this rate, in only a few years - it will be nearly impossible to get anywhere on time in Lagos.

Rant over. *drops mic and strolls off stage*

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