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Traffic Congestion in Lagos, Nigeria

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Michelle D

on 12 November 2012

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Transcript of Traffic Congestion in Lagos, Nigeria

Traffic Congestion
Lagos, Nigeria Issue Extreme traffic congestion is the norm on Lagos' roads and expressways Policies implemented by the Lagos State government have achieved limited success New measures need to be taken to decrease the amount of traffic congestion Background City of Lagos (within Lagos State) has a population between 11.2 million (UN 2011 estimate) and ~20 million (actual figures unknown) An estimated 8 million people travel to work via public transit each day 9,100 roads & espressways in Lagos and the surrounding areas Problems! Road conditions inadequate (potholes, flooding) Military checkpoints and bridge closures contribute to traffic congestion The recent restrictions of okadas (commercial motorcycles) on certain roads has caused traffic to be rerouted to other corridors Quality of driving is poor, especially by those who drive commercial vehicles or transit vehicles (high rate of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) Contracts to build roads have not been honoured Alternatives Inaction
Expansion of Light Rail Transit (LRT)
Assistance from other countries to improve infrastructure & public transportation
Improve driver knowledge through driver training programs and social media
Road tolls
HOV lane use & Counterflow lanes Alternative 1: Inaction Lagos State Road Traffic Law, 2012 Comprised of 3.577 square km, Lagos is a port city that is the centre for business and industry in Nigeria (45% of skilled labour in Lagos) Many individuals live outside the city core where housing is affordable Transportation Authorities Lagos State Ministry of Transportation (deal with transportation in the state)
Lagos State Transportation Management Authority (LASTMA) (employs traffic management strategies in order to reduce deaths, injuries, and economic losses
Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) (the state transport system that integrates buses, ferries, and trains)
Nigerian Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)(making highways and roads safe and educating drivers about good driving habits) By 2015, the population is expected to be at 25 million people ` Traffic Congestion Decreases productivity
Wastes time and fuel
Increases pollution
Causes stress
Increases the possibility of traffic accidents and death, especially if traffic is so congested that individuals are unable to reach the hospital Okadas have been restricted to being operated on only 475 roads •Positives: The State Road Traffic Law regarding road traffic administration has been implemented and construction of LRT is already occurring; no more money needs to be spent to alleviate the problem

•Negatives: Traffic congestion still continues to be an issue and road conditions desperately need to be improved. The population is increasing at a rapid pace and new infrastructure will be needed in order to accommodate the growth Alternative 2: LRT Technology LAMATA is currently appealing to investors to bid on future contracts

Light rail technology removes vehicles from the roads and is an environmentally conscious form of transportation
More affordable than purchasing a car and paying for gas
Less of a chance of being involved in an accident

Cost of LRT is substantial (the first two LRT lines are estimated to cost $1.4 bn) and it will take a long time to regain the money spent. What if no money is available?
Creation of transit lines will require the relocation of properties.
Property values will increase near LRT stations Alternative 5: Tolling Main Roads and Expressways be Alternative 6: Reform HOV lane use and Create Counterflow Lanes Currently, only BRT (buses) are permitted to travel in an HOV lane, which is divided from the rest of the road by a concrete barrier. The argument for this is that buses need to travel freely without interacting with other vehicles, and if they were to be in the same lanes as cars and a car broke down, it would impact public transit efficiency.

However, the concrete barriers are dangerous, and if there happens to be an accident in the HOV lane, it is difficult for other buses to be re-routed Recommendations I recommend a combination of Alternatives 2, 3, 4, and 6 be put into place
While costly, LRT technology will make transportation more efficient and remove vehicles from Lagos roads
Because Lagos has experienced troubles in updating infrastructure and public transportation, the LGS should seek financial assistance from other countries.
Improving driver training programs and employing the use of social media will be useful techniques as the population rises and technology becomes more apparent
Allowing cars and trucks to drive in the HOV lane when they have a specified number of passengers and implementing counterflow lanes will improve traffic flow
I do not recommend pursuing inaction due to the rapid rate at which the population is growing and the prominence of traffic problems on Lagos' roads
Similarly, extensively tolling the roads would be unpopular and many would be unable to afford driving into the city centre. Alternative 3: Obtaining Assistance from other Countries to Improve Public Transport & Infrastructure Alternative 4: Improving Driving Skills through Driver Training and Social Media Positives:
Requiring individuals who drive commercial vehicles to be retrained, in addition to improving the quality of driving schools would lead to improved driving skills and fewer accidents, causing less congestion.
Employing the use of Twitter accounts such as @GidiTraffic (currently has 36,000 followers), which gives information about traffic congestion and provides safe driving tips, is an easy form of media to update and can help divert traffic from congested corridors

Cost of implementing or improving existing programs may be high
Individuals may refuse to be re-certified and new drivers may be unwilling to take driver education courses due to the cost
Not all individuals in Lagos state have access to computers or cell phones to access the social media
Information about traffic congestion on one route could cause traffic to be diverted to another route, which will also become congested. Positives:
Financial support valuable if Lagos State lacks funds
High levels of expertise within a more developed company

Financing country or business may not have Nigerian interests at heart
Possibly taking away business from Nigerian companies
Possibility of tied aid
Length of time required to repay debt (if necessary)
Improving conditions may entice more people to drive Implementation Discussion of Costs Works Cited LRT Technology A light rail transit (LRT) system is currently being built in Lagos and is expected to be completed by late 2012/early 2013
7 lines have been proposed and 2 (Red Line and Blue Line) are under construction (each has 13 stations)
Will run on electricity, some parts will be above ground but most will be at ground level.
Being built under a PPP: the LSG is providing the funding, operation will be through LAMATA, and the equipment and construction for the first line has been contracted to China Civil Engineering Construction Company
LSG wants a 25 year concession for operations and maintenance
Fun fact: LAMATA acquired the subway cars from the Toronto Transit Commission Red Line Blue Line In 2010, the British government pledged to put £30m towards increasing the number of bus routes, providing larger buses, and helping to build two new train lines through some of the most densely populated areas of Lagos. Improving infrastructure and maintaining roads is less costly and disruptive over a long period of time Assistance Law aims to reduce traffic jams and lessen congestion
Restricts the use of okadas
The state added 15,000 more road signs
New laws and penalties for driving without a licence, disobeying traffic signs, etc. HOV/Counterflow Lanes Positives:
Allowing cars with a specified number of passengers to travel in an HOV lane will improve the efficiency on the roads
Creating a counterflow lane that changes direction based on the flow of rush hour traffic would accommodate more vehicles

Bus drivers would not be pleased that they would have to share HOV lanes with other drivers.Accidents may occur in the counterflow lane if drivers become confused about the direction of traffic The policy alternatives that I have recommended should be forwarded to the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, which can then decide which alternatives they wish to pursue. From then, the alternatives can be forwarded to LASTMA and LAMATA
Assistance and funding for infrastructure and public transportation should be secured as soon as possible in order to combat traffic congestion.
HOV & counterflow lanes can be put in place once the necessary research and funding has been acquired
Improving driver training programs will be a slow process. In the meantime, the state can employ media to provide knowledge about safe driving habits The costs associated with these policies will be dependent on the funding acquired
Based on the cost of the first two lines of LRT in Lagos, the remaining lines may cost upwards of $3 bn to complete, possibly more due to inflation
The Ministry of Transportation, LASTMA, and LAMATA will need to review their budgets to determine the feasibility of the recommended alternatives Akinsanmi, Gboyega, Taye Oye, and Femi Durojaiye. “Nigeria: Lagos Traffic Law-Commercial Motorcyclists Go on the Rampage.” Transport. All Africa. 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. http://allafrica.com/stories/201210230411.html

"Lagos Mass Transit System, Nigeria.”Railway-Technology.com. Net Resources International. N.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2012. http://www.railway-technology.com/projects/lagosrailmasstransit/

Lagos State Government. Ministry of Transportation. Lagos Road Traffic Bill, 2012. Ministry of Transportation. Web. 27. Oct. 2012. http://thenationonlineng.net/thenewroadtrafficlaw.pdf

“Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).” Lagos State Government. Lagos State Government, Nigeria. 2011. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. http://www.lagosstate.gov.ng/entities.php?k=157

“Nigeria: Lagos Light Rail-Residents Upbeat About Traffic De-Congestion.” Transport. All Africa. 8 Oct. 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. http://allafrica.com/stories/201210080160.html?page=2

Okolie, Anayo. “Nigeria: Group Urges Lagos Govt to Caution BRT Drivers.” Transport. All Africa. 29 Oct. 2012. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. http://allafrica.com/stories/201210290222.html

Vidal, John. “UK to Invest £30m in Nigerian public transport system.” Global Development. The Guardian. 31 Mar. 2010. Web. 1 Nov. 2012. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/31/nigeria-molues-danfoes-uk-invest The End Negatives:
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