Lagos Settles for 'Tokunbo' Subway Cars

The Lagos State government may have settled for the purchase of 15-year-old subway cars from Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to use on the city's light rail mass transportation project now under construction.

Although Daily Champion could not confirm the state's resort to second hand subway cars for the light rail project, dependable source had pointed at the high cost of acquiring new cars as the controlling variable. The Special Adviser to the governor on Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa could not respond to inquiries as at press time.

Subway cars - equivalent of trains - are series of connected railroad cars used for intra city urban transportation, usually underground and operated by electricity.

Recently, key officials of the Lagos State government led by the governor, Babatunde Fashola visited Toronto, Canada to inspect facilities and numbers of used subway cars currently being operated by the city's local transportation commission.

The visit to Toronto, Canada's most populous city, allowed the governor to experience firsthand, the operation of the city's underground railway lines, which was first commissioned in 1954.

In December 2010, The City of Toronto unveiled its new fleet of subway cars that will replace the existing ones - being consider by Lagos.

An expert on the Lagos Light Rail project told that due to the high cost of buying new trains/subway cars, the state government had no choice but to settled for used ones.

So far, the Lagos light rail project has been marred by cost variation - between $1.12 to $30 billion. This has prompted a governance monitoring group, Citizen Affairs, to called on the state government to publish details of projected overall cost of the ongoing project and regularly update stockholders on its development.

According to information provided by the CPC, legal advisor to the Lagos State Government on the project "The infrastructure will consist of 27km of double track, 13 passengers stations, and a 1250-metre 4-track bridge spanning the Osa lagoon and connection Lagos Island to the mainland. The Blue line will be the first of 7 light rail transit that will eventually comprise the Lagos urban rail network."

Meanwhile Lagos governor, Fashola has reiterated his admission commitment to continue improving upon social and business infrastructure of the state in order to increase its rating as a strategic business friendly city.

With Agency Reports

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