The governor of Lagos state, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode is set to consolidate on his administration’s efforts at reducing traffic gridlock in the state in order to save productive manpower lost daily on Lagos roads, through the introduction of water taxi.
According to a statement from the state government, the water taxi is part of an integrated transport system meant to unclog the city’s roads.
The statement reads in part, ‘twenty five percent of Lagos is water and it is important that we put in the right initiatives that an actually make activities on our water ways thrive’, Ambode said.
The state government said the ‘grand plan’ was to divert, at least two million passengers on the waterways daily, thereby reducing traffic on the road. Seven new ferries are set to be bought in the coming months, support will be given to 70 private firms running boat services, and 10 new operators are to be licensed’.
Thirty routes are being identified for dredging while 10 new jetties are being built.
Lagosians used to be able to take ferries from Mile 2 on the mainland, to Marina on the Island in the 80s and 90s, but no service has run since then. But, with more than 20 million people now living in Lagos state- a figure growing at a rate of nearly four percent a year, it is clear commuting by water has its advantages.
For instance, a worker in Ikorodu, who will normally spend about three hours in a car to travel to the Lagos Island now spend barely thirty minutes on the same trip, by speed boat.