Ahead of the Christmas and New Year festivities, the Federal Government on Saturday declared free train ride from Lagos to Ibadan. This followed the test-run of the section of the 157-kilometer project from Fagba in Lagos to Ibadan where the standard gauge train terminates.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who flagged off the train service from Lagos yesterday said the free ride would last till March 2020.
Daily Trust reports that the at the end of the free ride, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) would commence commercial operation on the fast train while the construction work continues.
“Because of the limited spaces the free train ride will be on a first come first serve basis and this is how we would run till December 19:
From December 21 as directed by the Minister, we would be running service return service daily and this is how we would operate till April when we are expected to begin full commercial operation on this corridor in line with the ministerial directive….
”I am pleased to announce that the free train ride will begin on Monday at Iju, Lagos, and we would run one return trip to Ibadan. This would be the pattern till December 19 and there would be a break on December 20 to allow for the routine inspection.
“From December 21, we expect to run the service twice a day, and by this time we expected that passengers can now board at Agege, and we would be able to take them to Kilometre 157 in Ibadan.”
The China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC), the contractor handling the project, had since completed track laying from Iju to Ibadan end of the project. It has now further extended track laying inwards Lagos to Fagba as it approaches Ibadan.
Amaechi had earlier announced on his Twitter page that the free ride would commence on Saturday, asking Nigerians to take advantage of the opportunity to plan their trip during this Yuletide.
He said, “Our free rides on the Lagos-Ibadan standard guage rail line will begin today (Saturday) and run through March, 2020. Commuters on that route can take advantage of it and save on transportation during the festive season & beyond. Let’s ride to the #NextLevel.”
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