The Lagos State Government has again warned residents against crossing the Blue Line rail tracks to avoid electrocution because the rail line is electrified.
The government advised those intending to cross from one side of the tracks to the other to use the overhead bridges instead.
This warning is coming again as the Blue Line rail is set to begin full commercial operations on Monday, September 4.
Writing in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday, the Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said, “Dear Lagosians, please be reminded as we kick off the commercial operations of the Lagos Blue Line Rail transport on Monday, that the rail line is electrified. Don’t cross the rail lines because it is dangerous. Use the overhead bridges that have been provided by the government. Thank you.”
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had in October last year warned residents against crossing the rail tracks.
“The Blue Line rail is an electrified system. Therefore, there is need for citizens to keep off the tracks,” Sanwo-Olu had tweeted.
“And if you must cross from one side to the other, you must use the overhead bridge, in order to prevent electrocution.”
Some other government officials, as well as the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), had issued similar warnings in the past. The warnings have, however, become more relevant now that the train services are about to begin in earnest.
At a press conference at the Marina Station of the Blue Line rail in Lagos last week, the Managing Director of LAMATA, Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, said Governor Sanwo-Olu would take the inaugural ride on the train at 9 a.m. on Monday, September 4, before other passengers would begin to ride.
“The train would run 12 trips in two schedules for now – 6.30 am to 10 am (morning peak) and 4.30 pm to 9 pm (evening peak),” Akinajo said.
“The train will stop for 90 seconds at each station. It will run 76 trips, from 5.30 am to 11 pm, when it becomes fully operational in four weeks,” she said.
She said though the train is electric, it would run on locomotive for the first four weeks of operation to allow the electric system to come up fully and sync properly with the physical infrastructure, adding that the plan is to allow passengers to get familiar with the rail system.
The LAMATA boss said despite thst the train would run on locomotive for the first four weeks, the tracks would remain energised so that passengers are not allowed to cross them. About 150,000 passengers are expected to board the train daily, she said.
“A full journey from Marina to Mile 2 will cost N750 and zonal fares will be between N400 and N500 for people not making the complete full trip. The transportation palliative announced by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu will also cover the train system, meaning that the highest fare for the full trip will be N375,” Akinajo explained.
“We are going to put safety measures in place. There are over 300 CCTV cameras across the whole Blue Line Rail and over 30 cameras monitoring the tracks alone. Command and Control centres are also available in all stations. Plain-cloth security agents and officers of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps will ride with passengers at all times. Any altercation on the train will not be tolerated. Vandalism also will not be tolerated,” she said.
Passengers can only access the service with their cowry cards and cash or paper tickets would not be accepted, she said.
The first phase of the Blue Line running from Marina to Mile 2 was commissioned on January 24, 2023 by the then President Muhammadu Buhari in the company of Governor Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat. An initial August date of commencement of full commercial operations for the rail line was not met.
Meanwhile, work is ongoing on the second phase of the project stretching from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko. The Blue rail line is expected to run 27.5 km from Marina to Okokomaiko, with 13 stations and an end-to-end journey time of 35 minutes.