TABLE OF CONTENT 1. INTRODUCTION 2. BUS RAPID TRANSIT 3. FINANCING THE OPERATING FLEET 4. INSTITUTIONAL AND REGULATORY CONTEXT 5. CREATION OF THE LAMATA 6. THE INTRODUCTION OF LAGOS BRTS 7. THE BENEFITS OF BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM 8. SUMMARY 9. CONCLUSION INTRODUCTION OF BUS RAPID TRANSIT (BRT) AS A PANACEA TO TRANSPORTATION PROBLEM IN LAGOS INTRODUCTION Lagos city, Nigeria’s commercial capital, is one the most population dense cities in Africa. Consequently, traffic congestion had become a daily reality for its residents.
The lack of a functioning public transport system spurred on the development of the informal transportation industry. The problem of Lagos is insufficient transport infrastructure, such as roads, railway and waterways. As the commercial capital of Nigeria and with a population of 17 million (the sixth largest city in the world), its highways are often extremely congested, partly because of the city’s layout. There is currently no organized mass transit system in the city and public transport services re of very poor quality and delivered mostly by individual bus operators. It’s no news to say that traffic jam is a hard nut every government has found very difficult to crack in Lagos. The two main buses utilized by commuters are the “molue” and “danfo”, the former being a distinctive yellow commercial bus and the latter being a mini-bus. MOLUEDANFO The Lagos State government, recognizing its herculean task of having to set up an effective and affordable transport system within Lagos city, decided to implement the BRTS.
The recent introduction of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) has sought to improve transportation in the state. The BRTS has been internationally touted as cost-effective transportation solution. Cheaper than building or upgrading railway systems, with much of the integration of a rail system, the BRTS is a fully integrated transport system with set routes, special lanes and buses with level boarding. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems that use buses to provide a service that is of a higher speed than an ordinary bus line.
Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling. The goal of these systems is to approach the service quality of rail transit while still enjoying the cost savings of bus transit. BRT is a transport option, which relies on the use of dedicated ‘interference’ free segregated lanes to guarantee fast and reliable bus travel. The BRT buses run on physically segregated lanes and thus make them run faster in a situation where there is traffic congestion.
It is one of the several options available for tackling the huge public transport predicaments of Lagos. This BRT system is the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, and is the only example of a comprehensive and integrated approach to improving public transport. The project draws from best practice examples of Bogota (Columbia) and Curitiba (Brazil) but adapts the concept to African context, as BRT ‘Lite’ (i. e. a high-quality bus system that is affordable in the local context while retaining as many of the most desirable BRT characteristics as possible).
Other options include the light rail, heavy rail, subway metro and traditional bus systems. The light and heavy rails as well as the subway metro systems are appropriate, but very expensive to construct and operate. The traditional bus service is highly patronized because it is flexible and inexpensive. Financing the Operating Fleet Two contrasting approaches were taken to financing the large buses needed for the BRT-Lite system. In one approach, 100 new buses were procured by the private sector without any direct public support.
In the second, 120 buses were procured by a state-owned company and then leased to the private sector operator (an additional 40 buses were operated directly by the state-owned company). The projects officer of the Lagos State Council of NURTW was charged in 2005 with identifying buses that would be suitable for operation under local road and climatic conditions and yet still affordable to the owner and the end user. This process led to the selection of a conventional truck-derivative passenger chassis from Ashok Leyland in India, with bodywork from the same country despite the shipping costs.
NURTW was able to prepare a credible business plan for its operation on intercity routes to the states adjoining Lagos, and thereby attract the interest of both the vehicle supplier and the financial sector, which would have to finance the new vehicles. However, reallocation of the buses to the unproven BRT-Lite scheme for operations within the city proved more challenging, though some banks and nonbank financial institutions (NBFIs) were still prepared to engage in the development process, and risk management measures were devised to allay their concerns.
Principal among these measures was the security of repayment to the financier, which was addressed in two ways. First, the scheme design gave the bank the initial lien on revenues collected from services; only the balance (after the deduction of financing costs) was passed on to the operator. The bank also was given the right to act as ticket distributor and security monitor. Second, the scheme design required the participating operators to accept collective liability for all the obligations into which they enter.
Any individual default, whether by embezzlement of revenues or through vehicle unavailability (perhaps as a result of an accident or mechanical failure), would be met by an additional charge on all the remaining members. When the default was fraudulent, the individual would also lose his deposit/collateral (although this provision was deliberately set at a level that would not entail loss of all a deposit/collateral so that it would not be a deterrent to participation in the scheme).
The collective liability was intended to enable participants to self-insure against their own damage and routine third-party risks (retaining catastrophe cover), this proved unacceptable in the pilot implementation. From the operators’ perspective, the two main risks to their participation in the scheme were that the new buses would not carry enough passengers to cover the high fixed costs of vehicle finance, and that the buses would not provide the reliability required from adequate maintenance over the finance tenor over time.
Clearly, the first of these risks would be addressed through the productivity gains arising from the segregated roadways devoted to the BRT-Lite system, but the second required a commitment from the vehicle supplier to make available locally spare parts and technical support and training from a small team of expatriate service engineers. Despite all of these steps and measures, no financial institution chose to participate in the scheme. The vehicle supplier eventually resolved this matter by offering to accept deferred payment over two years, provided that a local bank underwrite the counterparty risk.
Ecobank Nigeria agreed to this arrangement, but it, in turn, required that senior officers of NURTW lodge collateral personal guarantees in order to mitigate that risk exposure. Fortunately, the levels set for these guarantees were proportionate to the financial capacities of those who had to provide them, covering less than 10 percent of the total transaction value, and so could be put in place. Once all the financial arrangements were finalized, the vehicle order was confirmed for shipment in the first half of 2007.
Delivery was then made in two batches, arriving in Lagos in June and September of that year. While LAMATA was leading the development of an integrated transport sector, the Lagos State Government was sponsoring a parallel initiative for Lagos Metropolitan Priority Bus Services that was also intended to address the public transport deficit. Lagbus Asset Management Ltd was established as a wholly state-owned enterprise for the purpose of procuring buses for lease to private operators.
It was envisioned that this company would then earn revenue for the state in the near term and develop a track record for flotation once its developmental role had been fulfilled. Meanwhile, Lagbus’s choice of bus led to high lease charges, and consequently it was forced into the role of operator, running a radial service along a route that had priority through painted bus lanes. But performance was disappointing, and further rollout over the intended priority network was delayed at the same time that the idle fleet at Lagbus was growing because of the delivery of new vehicles.
This situation presented Lagbus with an opportunity to augment the NURTW service on BRT-Lite, and it was agreed that Lagbus would provide express services from the outer terminal at Mile 12 and the intermediate terminal at Moshalashi under its own branding. Twenty-five buses are deployed in this service, with a further 15 held in reserve. Institutional and Regulatory Context The delivery of the BRT-Lite system involved the cooperation of multiple agencies for several reasons.
First, development of the system had to be situated within the context of the state’s master plan for land use and spatial development To ensure that synergy was maximized between development of the BRT-Lite system and the master plan, representatives of the state master plan sat on the BRT Steering Committee. Second, transfer of the control of the federal highway over which the BRT-Lite system operates to Lagos State involved the Lagos State Ministries of Transportation and of Works.
Even though the BRT-Lite system is a Lagos State Government (LSG) initiative, the cooperation of these bodies could not be taken for granted. One result was that the construction of the BRT-Lite infrastructure was contracted directly by LAMATA and not through the Lagos State Ministry of Works. Third, oversight of primary traffic management and enforcement in the state lies with the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), a body that reports to the State Commissioner for Transport.
Co-operation between LASTMA and LAMATA improved markedly in recent years, and so LASTMA was prepared to commit to the BRT-Lite scheme the significant resources needed to protect the exclusive use of its infrastructure and to manage traffic conflicts in the box junctions at the various highway merges and demerges. Finally, the BRT-Lite system needed the support of the state initiative “Kick against Indiscipline” (KAI) to help with management of the public, particularly at the stations and terminals. This management included traders and hawkers on the walkways or sidewalks and orderly queuing at the bus stops and vehicle parks (terminals).
Creation of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) An analysis of the transport situation in Lagos revealed the lack of any mechanism to coordinate the plans and actions of the various agencies at the federal, state, and local government levels for managing, maintaining, and developing the transport network in a holistic and integrated manner. Furthermore, most of these agencies lacked a secure financial basis for their operations; their budgets were vulnerable to fiscal pressures and higher political priorities.
The creation of an appropriate coordinating authority was therefore placed at the heart of Lagos Urban Transport Project (LUTP), together with measures to ensure its sustainability through a lien on transport user charges. The LAMATA Law of 2002 established and empowered the authority. It was given jurisdiction over the conurbation in Lagos State and a declared network of primary and secondary roads that carried the large bulk of road traffic, as well as the power to plan and coordinate public transport and make ecommendations on route planning. LAMATA was staffed with highly motivated professionals, many former residents of Nigeria, who had experience worldwide in transport and management. The Introduction of the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit System LAMATA Launches the BRT System. Integrated Transport Planning Ltd. (ITP) was asked in August 2006 to undertake a “Feasibility Study for an Initial Corridor for the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System. ” The study, which encompassed nfrastructure, operations, and regulatory and institutional reform, was launched with the goal of developing a BRT system with the following characteristics: ? Efficient service (low cost, high frequency, high speed, high occupation, high safety, low emissions) ? Adequate institutional and regulatory framework ? Significant socioeconomic benefits, especially for the low-income population ? Maximum private participation ? Minimum public expenditures and liability ? Adequate mitigation of environmental and social impacts of the
BRT system. This challenge had to be met with an open mind informed by the experience worldwide with the BRT system and guided by an understanding of the local transport context (opportunities and constraints), local user needs, and the key issues surrounding deliverability. The BRT concept was assumed to be a flexible one, implying a systems-based approach to public transport, but defined by local user needs, context, and deliverability. BRT ”users” were defined as the traveling public, together with the system roviders—that is, the stakeholders who were key to delivery and those who were guardians of the wider policy objectives. Each party with either an interest in the BRT system and its delivery or an investment (financial or emotional) in its achievement had to be represented within the effort to define the system. This approach demanded that the consultants work closely with LAMATA, drawing on its efforts to harness and guide the wider stakeholder groups, developing their role in and understanding of BRT implementation, bringing in international xpertise in approaches that might meet local aspirations, and seeking to understand the needs of local travelers. The Needs of the Traveler The needs of the traveler were determined using the following methods: ? Ethonographic observation. This method consisted of discreet observation of travelers’ access to transport, their contacts and relationships with the various actors involved in transport, and their demeanors and actions. The 22-km BRT-Lite route from Mile 12 to Lagos Island 9 ? Qualitative/qualitative surveys.
Surveys were conducted to establish formal data such as fare elasticity and value of time, but also to gather details on the relative importance of walk, wait, and travel times, transport choice issues, and the most important obstacles to the ideal use of transport. ? Focus groups. A series of focus groups were held to explore in detail the issues related to travel in Lagos by different demographic groups, as well as to test the features that may or may not be applied within a BRT system. The following concerns were identified as very important to travelers: ? Safety.
The incidence of crime on vehicles and while waiting for vehicles to arrive was high. The crimes ranged from theft to physical abuse. The disorder and chaos surrounding public transport was viewed as an opportunity for criminals, and, where crime was not present, the almost constant intimidation and general chaos led to undue stress on travelers. ? Fare levels. Public transport fare levels often varied according to demand, weather conditions, and the whim of the conductor. A significant proportion of the traveling public is highly fare sensitive, with some making daily decisions about whether to travel based on available funds. Long and unreliable journey times. The practice of vehicles not leaving until full, of short services that required transferring to another vehicle, and the lack of transport penetration into residential areas, together with the widespread and variable congestion ranging from high to intolerable, meant that public transport journeys were both long and uncertain. ? Comfort. The state of many buses was very bad. Lack of upholstery on seats and the rusted metal edges that ripped clothing or caused injury were common. Therefore, travelers placed value on a basic level of comfort that would avoid these problems.
In satisfying traveler user needs the BRT system had to, above all else, have the following attributes: ? Safe, both on the vehicle and accessing it ? Affordable, with constant and easily understandable fares ? Reliable, offering improved and reliable journey times. The pilot BRT corridor was chosen by means of the feasibility study, and today the BRT system runs along Ikorodu Road, Western Avenue, and Eko Bridge, a key 22-kilometer radial highway that connects Mile 12 and Lagos Island (the traditional central business district).
Before implementation of the BRT system, the highway enjoyed a wide carriageway that ran two or three lanes in each direction; service roads run alongside about 60 percent of its length. The BRT corridor crosses over one of the three bridges that connect the mainland with Lagos Island, and so the route effectively connects extended suburbs, satellite centers, to the traditional central business district of Lagos. The concept of a BRT system was the subject of an open discussion with the BRT Steering Committee, chaired by the commissioner for transport, Muiz Banire, and composed of key stakeholders.
The group viewed an artist’s impressions of the median and bilateral operation of cars and buses on the chosen corridor, both equipped with physical segregation of BRT buses from the rest of the vehicular traffic. Participants quickly recognized that the BRT system was not necessarily a long-term grand aspiration, but was instead something readily deliverable. The visualization showed immediately what benefit the system would bring to bus run times and consequently to those traveling along the corridor.
From that point on, and in parallel with the development of a “BRT-Classic” scheme, a project was launched to define a “BRTLite”system. Preliminary engineering designs for the corridor recommended virtually continuous bilateral segregation, with breaks where merges and diverges were needed to and from service roads. Other breaks were provisionally recommended for viaducts and overpasses where concerns about structural integrity, together with width constraints, made physical segregation using concrete curbs impossible. The final result is a
BRT system in which about 65 percent is physically segregated from other traffic, 20 percent is separated by bus lanes (marked in paint), and 15 percent mixes with other traffic. Although total segregation may have been preferable, the overall need for delivery and improved run times by concentrating infrastructure on where it had the best impact meant adopting pragmatic solutions. Periodic breaks in the segregation to allow for merge or diverge across the BRT roadway ensured that any broken-down vehicles could be easily towed and that approaching BRT vehicles would be able to drive around any blockage.
This level of flexibility is important in a system in which demand could exceed supply. The first phase of the Lagos BRT was opened on March 24, 2008, although it was initially slated for opening in November 2007 (the initiative to build the system was initiated by the government of the previous governor, Bola Tinubu. It goes from Mile 12 through Ikorodu Road and Funsho Williams Avenue up to CMS. At current, the Lagos BRT Corridor is 22 km in length. Two operators are offering their services to the Lagos BRT: NURTW Cooperative and LAGBUS. LAGBUS is an Asset Management Company owned by the Lagos State government. 6 bus shelters are offered along the Mile 12-CMS road; three bus terminals are also placed along the corridor (at Mile 12, Moshalashi and CMS), with the bus terminal at CMS designed to integrate with transport modes of rail and ferry that are planned for future construction by LAMATA. In the system as implemented, lanes are typically 3. 3 meters wide and are separated from other traffic by concrete curbs that are 400 millimeters high. Lanes are the minimum width that can support unconstrained, safe operations, and curb height is the minimum that will deter lateral intrusion. Gaps of about 0. meters were left in the curbs to allow storm water to drain, thereby avoiding the need to reposition road drainage. Along the BRT-Lite corridor, new shelters were built to give order and structure to vehicle boarding. Tickets are purchased upon entering the stop, and passengers then queue before entering the bus. The shelter protects passengers from the sun by means of an opaque glass canopy. A similar design style is used at the terminals, where more space is provided for boarding and alighting. The BRT-Lite system runs seven days a week, between 0600 and 2200 on weekdays and with reduced hours of operation on the weekends.
Vehicles are dispatched from a terminus when available to accommodate the almost constant demand. As such headways (the time interval between two vehicles traveling in the same direction on the same route) are not part of operational planning but a product of vehicle availability and a desire to meet demand in the context of journey time variability en route. The out turn headway is typically between 30 and 60 seconds. A new terminus was built at Mile 12 utilizing the underside of the highway flyover. The existing terminus at Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island was modified.
A new depot was built alongside the route to park the 100 new vehicles. It now houses and maintains over 200 vehicles. A driver training program was instigated to retrain bus drivers in use of the infrastructure and customer care. An incentive for drivers to participate was their new title—pilots. The concept is popular, with users referring to whether they will or will not “fly” BRT! THE BENEFITS OF BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYTEM The recent introduction of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in Lagos has sought to improve transportation in the state. These benefits include job creation and lifestyle improvements for Lagos residents. Reducing traffic congestion can have big economic benefits for communities, billions of naira worth of productivity and economic output can be gained through infrastructural and policy changes that reduce congestion. Reducing congestion and increasing travel speeds enough to improve access by 10 percent to key employment, retail, education and population centers increases regional production of goods and services by 1 percent. While seemingly small in percentage terms, this leads to tens of billions of dollars for a region’s employers and workers due to productivity and efficiency benefits. which BRT has brought to Lagos. By improving service quality BRT provides direct benefits to transit users. By making transit more attractive to discretionary travelers on congested urban corridors, BRT can provide various benefits, including reduced traffic congestion, road and parking facility cost savings, consumer cost savings, improved mobility options for non-drivers, increased safety, reduced pollution, and support for urban infill. Many BRT features improve operating efficiency, increase transit demand, and reduce unit costs of providing transit service.
Some other benefits include: It has provided an efficient, reliable and frequent public transport service. A safe and secure public transport system. An accessible public transport system for people with disabilities. A public transport system that runs 18 hours a day. A huge decrease in energy consumption and vehicle emissions. An enhanced urban environment. One of the components of the LAMATA BRT scheme is security and a strong factor in ensuring this, is the lighting up of the entire corridor on both sides to ensure safety of lives and property.
The lighting infrastructure also beautify the street of Lagos. The incidence of crime on vehicles and while waiting for vehicles to arrive was high. The crimes ranged from theft to physical abuse. The disorder and chaos surrounding public transport was an opportunity for criminals, and, where crime was not present, the almost constant intimidation and general chaos led to undue stress on travelers. The introduction of BRTS has reduced criminals activities such as “One Chance” . The benefits of BRTS in addressing transportation problems in Lagos can also be viewed from this perspectives: Fare levels.
Public transport fare levels often varied according to demand, weather conditions, and the whim of the conductor. A significant proportion of the traveling public is highly fare sensitive, with some making daily decisions about whether to travel based on available funds. Long and unreliable journey times. The practice of vehicles not leaving until full, of short services that required transferring to another vehicle, and the lack of transport penetration into residential areas, together with the widespread and variable congestion ranging from high to intolerable, meant that public transport journeys were both long and uncertain.
Comfort. The state of many buses was very bad. Lack of upholstery on seats and the rusted metal edges that ripped clothing or caused injury were common. Therefore, travelers placed value on a basic level of comfort that would avoid these problems. SUMMARY The Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) agency was recently created in order to solve the transport issues in the state. The Bus Rapid Transit scheme was launched on 4 June 2006. Lagos State recently implemented a BRT (bus rapid transit) system, the first phase was completed in February, 2008.
It is expected to operate along eight routes using specially designated BRT Lanes running through the city with the aim of expanding to other routes in the future. The first phase of the Lagos BRT runs 12 miles through Ikorodu Road and Funsho Williams Avenue up to CMS. Operation started on 17 March, 2008, six months earlier than planned and after weeks of test runs. It has been estimated that the system will transport about 10,000 passengers in each direction per hour during peak travel times. The LAMATA BRT corridor covers a distance of about 22 kilometers in length.
The system is run by two operators, NURTW Cooperative (Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers) and LAGBUS, a Lagos State Government owned Asset Management Company which contributes about 180 high capacity buses for the implementation of the first phase Mile 12 to CMS BRT Lite system. Already, the Lagos state Government has trained and deployed more than 400 LASTMA and KAI workers to make the system work. However, it should be realised that LASTMA and KAI officials would not be around all the time to enforce compliance with the rules and regulations of the BRT by motorists.
A lot of public enlightenment is, therefore, needed to engender compliance with the BRT rules and regulations. Also, a lot of discipline would be needed on the part of road users to make the BRT work. Already, there are criticisms of the penalty for motorists who use the BRT lanes during the operating hours of the system. Certainly, a fine of N50, 000 for such offenders is too harsh and should be reviewed downwards. CONCLUSION The impact of BRT on the movement pattern of the residents of Lagos metropolis has been enormous and a significant contribution to economic benefit.
It has also reduce traffic congetion drastically which has change the travelling pattern of BRT Lite users. For end-to-end journeys, the advantages of traveling by BRT-Lite are clear. The journey is faster than that using the other route options; passengers save about 10–20 minutes in vehicle time. Journey time advantages are further increased compared with other in-corridor trips by avoiding the need to change transport to access the central business district. The BRT-Lite offers a premium service in terms of both run time and vehicle quality, but its fares are actually lower than those for other travel options.
The BRT-Lite fare is particularly preferential to competing modes along the corridor, where the requirement to transfer from one vehicle to another and the high fares for shorter journeys lead to a significantly higher fare for the full journey. BRT Lite advantages include its accessibility, affordability, enhancement of system identity, travel comfort and enhancement of safety and security. Besides, it reduces transit travel time, increases trip reliability, improves transit connections and also provides more direct services while decreasing waiting times.
Without gainsaying, the introduction of BRT has brought succour to the menance caused by traffic congetion due to unorganised transport system, bad road, and other infrastructure that could have make Lagos a megacity. The was bustressed by BRT-Lite users point to the most important factor behind their choosing to use the system. These include: Quicker journey time, comfort, cheaper than alternatives, safety/improved security of the system and it is more reliable. Moreso, BRTS has brought to the state since its inception the previous year. These benefits include job creation and lifestyle improvements for Lagos. esidents. Nevertheless, BRT has its own shortcomings as in a recent survey carried out by Post Graduate Diploma Students of the Department of Mass Communication of the University of Lagos, under the supervision of Professor Idowu Sobowale, 98. 8 percent of the sampled populace claimed they were aware of the BRT scheme. However, only 7. 6 percent use it daily while 52. 4 percent have never used it. This implies that though majority are aware of the scheme and its possible benefits, as at the time of the survey, many had not enjoyed this facility.
There are still others who believe that the system does not accommodate their wares which they transport from one market to the other. Perhaps the BRT was not designed with them in mind. While 1. 5 percent of the respondents stated that the scheme was inefficient, majority expressed confidence in it. In a city of highly mobile people, 21. 3 percent of the respondents acknowledged using the BRT service once in a while. Perhaps with time, the level and frequency of patronage may improve. The conclusion from the entire survey is that majority of Lagosians seem to be happy with the introduction of the BRT scheme.
Government should endeavour to expand it while effort should be made to involve other professional transport unions. To satisfy the desire of Lagosians for real development that impacts on their daily life, action should be hastened up to reach the majority who indicated that the scheme is yet to get to their residential areas, work places or school routes. Planners have to work hard to meet the demands of 90 percent of the populace who responded in favour of an expansion of the scheme to cover other routes such that it will make a direct impact on their living tandards. David T. Hartgen and M. Gregory Fields: Gridlock and Growth: The Effect of Traffic Congestion on Regional Economic Performance. GARDNER G, RUTTER JC and F KUHN, The performance and potential of light rail transit in developing cities. TRI, Project Report No. PR69, Transport Research Laboratory, Crowthorne, UK 1994. Odilile, A. Public Transport in Nigeria: Introduction of the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit Syatem. Jun 2009. Vanguard Newspaper, BRT in Lagos – A Light in a Long Tunnel. 6 Mar 2009.