Investment in public transport aims at poverty reduction - Fashola

Investment in public transport aims at poverty reduction

Lagos State Government’s commitment to reduce poverty is dependent on the successes it is able to achieve in delivering a multi-modal transport infrastructure and services for the people of the state. Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola stated this while receiving the LAMATA Photo Compendium – A Decade of Transforming Transport (2003-2013) from the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola. Governor Fashola stated: “I have always believed that transportation is the lynch pin of our civilisation and it defines largely the quality of our lives.” He said the challenges of adequacy of public transport infrastructure and services had been heightened by the urbanisation problem of a population growing rapidly at a significantly higher annual rate of six per cent that the national average of 3.5%. This state of congestion, coupled with inherent management weaknesses, according to the Governor, meant that successive administrations before the millennium struggled to cope with the problems of increasing road congestion, environmental deterioration, and general decline in public transport service delivery. However, he said government decided to define the transport sector policy in 2000 with the overall objective of improving the provision of transport services particularly for low income public transport users and strategy which revolves around developing appropriate institutional mechanisms for managing the public transport sector. Governor Fashola stated that this led to the establishment of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority in October 2003, noting that the Authority has steadily developed into a strong, renowned and internationally acclaimed transport institution with an awesome record of successes and milestones achieved within a relatively short period, including successful preparation of a strategic long term plan for the transport sector in Lagos.
“The Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP) is the blueprint for developing urban public transportation in Lagos as it strives to manage rising travel demand expectations of a rapidly growing population. The STMP also identifies traffic management measures, transport infrastructure and services required for meeting travel needs of residents and businesses for the next two decades,” he stated. While presenting the LAMATA Photo Compendium – A Decade of Transforming Transport (2003-2013), Dr. Mobereola said it was produced to document the progress of the Lagos State Government through LAMATA over the past decade in developing public transportation. Apart from showcasing the achievements of the state government given the huge investments in transportation over the decade under reference, the document is also to serve as reference/archival and learning materials for individuals, Public Transport departments of institutions of higher learning and other aspiring cities with similar public transport challenges as Lagos.

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