Connecting Critical Points in Lagos to Sustainable Future through the Red Line Rail Project 

To connect critical points across Lagos and open doors to opportunities, growth, and a sustainable future, the 27 kilometers Lagos Red Line starting from Agbado in Ogun State to cities and suburbs in Lagos, was borne. But beyond this, the overarching goal is to alleviate traffic congestion, minimise road accidents, and improve commuter safety within the state. The laudable project, which was inaugurated last Thursday, is expected to facilitate 37 trips daily and move more than 500,000 passengers daily, Chiemelie Ezeobi reports 

When the concept of the Lagos Red Rail Project was picturised some two decades ago under the then governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the idea was to fast track commute while decongesting traffic at the same time.

The project passed through two successors until it was brought to fruition and completion by the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu. Just last Friday, President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the Lagos Red Line Rail.

This intra-city metro line is the second sub national rail infrastructure to be completed and opened by the state government within a space of one year, the first being the Blue Line, an electric rapid transit line that runs in Lagos with five stations between Mile 2 to Marina.


In specifics, the seven-station Red Line Rail stretches over a distance of 27 kilometres starting from Agbado in Ogun State and crossing through cities and suburbs in Lagos State like Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, and Yaba, before terminating at Oyingbo.

With 10 vehicular overpasses and pedestrian bridges which separates the train traffic from vehicular and pedestrian flows, the Red Line is a substantial investment in the state’s urban transportation infrastructure and a fixture on the T.H.E.M.E.S+ Agenda of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu. 

Accordingly, the first phase of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT)  project is expected to facilitate 37 trips daily and move more than 500,000 passengers daily.

With an estimate pegged at $135 million under the Greater Lagos Urban Transportation Project, managed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), under the state’s Ministry of Transportation, the rail 

utilises Diesel Multiple Unit which employs on-board diesel engines to propel multiple-unit trains.

According to Sanwo-Olu, when fully operational, the Lagos Red Line Mass Transit rail system will convey about 500,000 passengers daily.

He said: “The LRMT Red Line rail system, the first phase of which we project will move more than 500,000 passengers daily, stretches over a distance of 27 kilometres from Agbado to Oyingbo, with eight stations at Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba, and terminates at Oyingbo.”


Given the enormity of the success recorded with this project, President Tinubu, while inaugurating the Lagos Red Line rail, said Lagos is an example of how vision exalts democracy, adding that his vision of the intermodal transport ecosystem has become a reality which would bear good dividends for citizens of the state.

Commending Governor Sanwo-Olu for the giant stride and for his faith in the state’s strategic development blueprint passed down to successive governments in the state by the Tinubu-led administration in Lagos, he said the Red Line inauguration marked another milestone in the state’s infrastructural progress, noting that the delivery of the project further validated his belief that democracy would work in society where leaders showed dedication to governance vision.

The President observed that Lagos stood out as shining example of working democracy because its leadership made people’s welfare the central priority of its overarching vision and planning.

He said: “Today, we are gathered for the inauguration of the second of the six rail lines planned in our strategic transportation master plan. I commend the Lagos State Government under the leadership of Babajide Sanwo-Olu for this giant stride. He was part of this vision some 20 years ago, running around the world to look at working systems and come up with ideas to replicate here.

“I am delighted that we are inaugurating the first phase of the Red Line. Today is a day to be remembered for the infrastructural progress of our country, particularly Lagos. LAMATA has demonstrated that agency can work for people if it is guided by a vision and commitment to noble values. Much work still needs to be done in fostering strong working partnership between between federal government and state governments.

“We thank Lagosians and our political leaders in the State for believing in us. We said we can do it, you believed in us. We said we would be focused on the people, you believed in us. We said our efforts would end up in making people’s lives better, you believed in us. The progress of Lagos over the last 24 years is a constant reminder that true change is possible.”

Tinubu said the history of the state would be kind to everyone involved in infrastructural transformation witnessed in Lagos, noting that any deviation from state’s development master plan could derail the progress, thus he urged the state’s leadership to persevere in the face of opposition to the ideas, while staying focused on the goals.

Special guests present at the inauguration were Kogi Governor, Ahmed Ododo; Imo Governor, Hope Uzodimma; Kwara Governor, Alhaji Abdullateef Abdulrazaq; Ogun Governor, Dapo Abiodun; Borno Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum; Ekiti Governor,  Abiodun Oyebanji; and fmr. Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode with wife of Lagos Deputy Governor, Oluremi Hazmat and wife of Lagos Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-olu.

Also present were members of the Federal Executive Council, Lagos cabinet members, business leaders, members of the diplomatic community, political leaders, traditional rulers, traders and students.

New Pace for Development, Opportunities 

In his speech, Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that the LMRT Red Line “isn’t just about improving our city’s mobility, rather it’s about reshaping our urban landscape and setting a new pace for development.

By connecting critical points across Lagos, we’re opening doors to opportunities, growth, and a sustainable future.”

Stating that the rail accomplishments are results of painstaking reforms,  Sanwo-Olu added that the inauguration of the rail system has once again, breathed life into Tinubu’s vision of integrated transport connectivity.

The governor said the Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP) of Lagos outlined six integrated rail lines, one monorail, 14 BRT corridors, over 20 water routes, and a vast network of major and inner roads, adding that two of the rail lines had been completed.

While acknowledging the contributions of his predecessors, Babatunde Fashola and Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode towards the accomplishment of the state’s rail project, he said: “Today, we mark a historic milestone in the annals of Lagos and indeed, our nation, with the commissioning of the Red Line, a 37-km marvel of modern engineering that stretches from Agbado in Ogun State to the iconic National Theatre in Iganmu.

” The segment we are inaugurating today spans an impressive 27-km from Agbado to Oyingbo, featuring state-of-the-art stations at Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba, and Oyingbo.

“For the first time in the history of Lagos, we have a system comprising and integrating all three modes of transportation: road, rail and waterways. We started construction of the rail infrastructure mid-2021, and I am happy that our administration has been able to complete for operations. At full capacity this first phase of the Red Line will transport 250,000 passengers daily, which will grow to 750,000 passengers daily when we have the full complement of rolling stock on the line.”

According to FollowLagos, prior to the Red Line inauguration, Sanwo-Olu, in successive months, commissioned five separate T-shaped bridges built by the state government along the rail corridor to limit vehicular interference on the tracks.

Also speaking, Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said Lagos became the first sub national in Africa to fund rail projects from its balance sheet, noting that the Red Line was commissioned exactly 1,050 days after its construction groundbreaking was performed.

LAMATA, CCECC Sign Phase Two Dev’t Contract  

At the ceremony, LAMATA and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) signed agreement contract for the construction of the Phase Two of the Red Line, which will extend the project to Marina and National Theatre stations of the Blue Line.

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