EVALUATION OF CHALLENGES FACING BUS RAPID TRANSIT (BRT) ALONG LAGOS-IKORODU EXPRESSWAY

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ABSTRACT

Bus Rapid Transit is a flexible, high-performance rapid transit mode that combines a variety of physical, operating, and system elements into a permanently integrated system with a quality image and unique identity (Levinson Samuel, et al. 2004), this BRT system therefore, is the first of its kind in Nigeria and is the only example of a comprehensive and integrated approach to improving public transport. This study has evaluated the challenges facing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Lagos.

The aim of this research work is to evaluate theges faci challenng Bus Rapid Transit along Lagos Ikorodu expressway.

The concepts of system, spatial interaction, and traffic flow model were considered to understand the research work.  However, the following objectives were pursued, investigate the causes of overcrowding at bus terminals; examine the delays in travel time; examine the condition of the BRT route; and evaluate the mobility challenges faced by BRT operations along the Lagos-Ikorodu road. Data used for this study was gathered from primary data.

The primary data were obtained through a structured questionnaire and were administered on two categories of respondents namely the passengers and the operators.

The data collected were subjected to descriptive statistical analysis and regression analysis. The result showed that the Government has introduced new developments to solve these challenges. The research concludes that challenges like traffic congestion, card reader problems, longer waiting times, and private car infringement are the major challenges still facing BRT operation along the Lagos Ikorodu expressway, and these challenges have an effect on commuters’ productivity, by increasing travel time and waiting time.

Recommendations was made to enhance the adequate operation of BRT along this corridor which are; the provision of more buses, operators improving on customer relationship skills, public enlightenment, and seminars should be made available for passengers and operators respectively amongst others.

 

Chapter one

Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Transport development is a growth-generating infrastructure in relation to the process of socio-economic development; it facilitates the development of growth poles and centers and should be a for-runner in the developmental process of any nation (Oyesiku, 2002). According to Badejo (2000) and Oyesiku (2000), transport is one of the elemental factors for any use development pattern, it forms an intrinsic part of settlement development needed to open up regions and provide access to natural resources.

Lagos State has been viewed as one of the fastest-growing cities in the world and this city has been faced with numerous challenges of which efficient and adequate transportation is one of them. Going by the 2006 census, it shows that Lagos has an estimated population of 18 million but most of the total population is clustered around a relatively small geographical space and thereby causing a great strain on the existing public infrastructure (Odufuwa, 2010).

Transport infrastructure and services remain at levels that support a population of no more than 6 million. The provision of bus public transport is highly fragmented with minimal fleet operations, instead private individuals operate many mini buses of poor quality and in an undisciplined fashion. Despite the size of the city, there are no organized mass transit systems and transport costs to users constitute a high proportion of disposable income unsurprisingly, congestion is a major issue in the city affecting significantly the cost of production.

Evidently from the role of Lagos State as a major gateway to the nation, the associated transport inadequacies call for a strategy for its management. And in order to provide consistent transport policy planning and efficient implementation of the policies and ameliorate the deplorable traffic situation in the state, the Lagos State government established the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) in 2003 as the executive agency of the Lagos Urban Transport Project (LUTP). The LAMATA was invested with the overall role of coordinating the transport policies, programs and actions of all transport-related agencies and implementing and managing public transport service in the Lagos metropolitan area in which Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is one of the flagship programs. The Lagos State BRT became operational on 17th March 2008 and focused upon delivering a system to meet key local users needs, with the aim of improving quality of life, economic efficiency and safety within a clearly defined budget.

BRT was established in the state to improve transportation with specific operational and economic goals. The promotion of Bus Rapid Transit |(BRT) is a veritable option directed at improving the service delivery in the public passenger transport particularly as it affects the most predominant form of transport mode in Nigeria road transport. The essence of BRT is to relieve congestion, enhance mobility, and improve the environment especially with regard to pollution in Lagos metropolis.

The introduction of BRT was widely accepted by the commuters and had helped to address the menace of uncoordinated and uncontrolled public transport business in the state. But intra-town transportation problem which is as a result of traffic congestion, poor road facilities, poor environmental condition, road degradation, insufficient right of way, air and environmental pollution, all constitute to the problem facing the BRT in Ikorodu area.

It is imperative to evaluate the challenges facing the Bus Rapid Transit Operations in Lagos-Ikorodu expressway.  As a result of this, it is hoped that the result of this study will provide evidence and recommendations as to the challenges facing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) operations in Lagos-Ikorodu expressway.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Lagos state is one of the most populous city in Africa and one the fastest growing city (LASG, 2012). Over 90% of transportation within the state is done by road transport, and this resulted into continuous congestion on roads within the state.

Bad roads can also be a barrier to efficient public transport and bus rapid transit (Basorun, 2005; Ogunbodede, 2008; Aderamo, 2010). The effects of bad roads, overcrowding and dearth of investments on the infrastructure had contributed to a disjoint public transport in Nigeria at large (Ogwude, 2011).

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Lagos is not only congested but also has the problems associated with urban congestions such as road traffic and absence of parking space, rapid growth of the private vehicle fleet, combined with reliance on commercial vehicles and motorcycles (molues, danfo, taxis, okadaetc) has resulted in extreme traffic congestion throughout the city, and poor quality public transport which has been described as unregulated, chaotic, inefficient, expensive, low quality and dangerous, both in terms of road traffic accidents and personal safety.

In order to provide consistent solution, the Lagos state government enacts policy planning through LAMATA in which Bus Rapid Transit is one of their flagship programs. This BRT adopted the landlord model form of PPP that is LAMATA owns infrastructure, depots, routes and shelters while operators only own the buses and obtain the legal right (franchise) to operate in specified routes. Procurement of buses is financed by ECO Bank, and in order to secure their investments, the bank is also responsible for the printing of fare tickets. These tickets are sold to appointed ticket dealers who pay in cash. The ticket dealers now sell the tickets to commuters at the BRT terminals/stations.

The problem here is that, risk associated with ticketing is solely on ticket dealers since they remit fund to the bank on purchase. Maintenance is being carried out by motor operators which involve National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

The operational arrangement between LAMATA and the PPP for improving the personnel staff to regulate and organized the capacity building through workshops for BRT operators so as to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of BRT transport system is very low and this constitute to challenges facing the BRT operations in Lagos-Ikorodu express way.

The major problems facing BRT operations in Lagos metropolis are the low supply of buses compared to the demand made by commuters, the delay in travel time, faulty buses, inadequate ticketing system, inability to create a functional electronic ticketing system, private and public vehicles entering the BRT lane, congestion at the bus stop and on the road.

The commuters are most challenged by the unaffordability of prices charged, non-availability of buses, security in the buses, the effect of prices charged on their income, low quality of the seats, the insecurity at the bus stops and they are frustrated with the limited routes covered by the BRT.

Meanwhile, the Lagos state government through the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) has provided a conducive road network, newly constructed BRT terminals, pedestrian bridges and walkways, and newly e-ticketing system with the usage of cowry cards to ease congestion and movement along this route.

The government also, through the Lagos Bus Service Limited (LBSL) provided new buses with adequate facilities to ease movement along this route.

Despite the effort by the Lagos state government to tackle these problems, it seems that the problems still persist.

That is why the following research questions were asked to evaluate the challenges facing BRT operations in this route.

 

1.3 Research Questions

In an attempt to come up with relevant findings in this study, the following questions are raised to guide and give focus to the study:

  1.   What are the causes of overcrowding at the bus terminal?
  2.   What are the causes of delays in travel time?
  3.   What are the conditions of the BRT lane?
  4.   What are the mobility challenges faced by BRT operations along this corridor?

 1.4 Aim and Objectives

The aim of this research is to evaluate the challenges faced by BRT operations along the Lagos-Ikorodu expressway. The purpose of the study is therefore summarized as follows: To:

  1.     investigate the causes of overcrowding at the bus terminal;
  2.    examine the causes of delays in travel time;

iii.   examine the conditions of the BRT route; and

  1.   evaluate the mobility challenges faced by BRT operations along Lagos-Ikorodu expressway.

 1.5 Significant of the Study of CHALLENGES FACING BUS RAPID TRANSIT

According to BRT Implementation Guidelines, BRT is defined as a flexible, high-performance rapid transit mode that combines a variety of physical, operating, and system elements into a permanently integrated system with a quality image and unique identity (Amiegbebhor, Akarakiri, and Dickson, 2015).

According to Levinson et al (2003), BRT is a flexible, rubber-tired rapid-transit mode that combines stations, vehicles, services, running ways, and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) elements into an integrated system with a strong positive identity that evokes a unique image.

Bus Rapid Transit which is also called bus way or transit way, is a bus-based public transport system designed to improve capacity and reliability relative to a conventional bus system.

This study is important for several reasons:

  1. The study will identify the relationship between the commuters and the BRT operators along the Lagos-Ikorodu expressway.
  2. This study will provide the commuters and the BRT’ operators in Ikorodu, with the evidence needed to the challenges facing the BRT operations.
  3. The study will provide a piece of comprehensive information how the challenges facing BRT operations affect commuters.
  4. It will serve as a contribution to knowledge to other researchers who might want to carry out research work in the related study.

1.6     Study Area

Ikorodu Road is a major expressway connecting the Mainland of Lagos to Ikorodu. The road is designated as the A1 highway for its entire 24.5-kilometer length. For most of the Lagos portion, it is a four-lane expressway with two frontage roads parallel to the expressway. The expressway crosses other major expressways such as ApapaOworonshoki Expressway and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The expressway also hosts many of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority’s bus rapid transit (BRT) stops all the way to Ikorodu.

Ikorodu Road officially starts after the flyover with Murtala Muhammed Way in Lagos Mainland. From here its travels north dividing Mushin from Somolu. After its 4-kilometer mark, the expressway interchanges with the Apapa Oworonshoki Expressway or Gbagada Expressway.

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Map of Study Area

 

Figure 1. Shows the map of the study area

Source: Ministry of Physical Planning, Lagos State

Figure 2: BRT route along Lagos-ikorodu expressway

Source: Online, Prepared by Google Earth (2014)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341050628

 

 

1.6.1       Description of Study Area.

The Lagos-Ikorodu BRT route starts from the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) bus terminal to the Ikorodu bus terminal, along this route, there are about 27 bus terminals. This route allows commuters to move from the island to the mainland via BRT buses. Ikorodu Road is a major expressway connecting the Mainland of Lagos to Ikorodu.

The road is designated as the A1 highway for its entire 24.5-kilometer length. For most of the Lagos portion, it is a four-lane expressway with two frontage roads parallel to the expressway.

Below are plates describing the Lagos-Ikorodu BRT route.

 

Plate 1: Shows the passenger’s walkway at TBS bus terminal

Source: Online picture

 

 

Plate 2: Shows BRT operation going on at OwedeOnirin, Ikorodu expressway

Source: Researcher’s field survey (2021)

 

Plate 3: Shows overcrowding at bus terminal as one of the challenges along this route

Source: online picture

Plate 4: Shows Passengers waiting at Ikorodu bus terminal

Source: Researcher’s field survey (2021)

1.7     Scope and Limitations of the Study

This study focuses on the evaluation of challenges facing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) operations in the Lagos-Ikorodu expressway. It is limited in scope to only the BRT transport system operations in the Lagos-Ikorodu expressway. There are about 27 bus terminals along this route, this study only focuses on specific major bus terminals for this research.

1.8 Challenges of the Study

It is anticipated that this study will encounter some challenges. First among these is the negative attitude of the public towards research. Respondents, many times, are unwilling to give information to researchers. At other times, when they give this information, it is incorrect or even outrightly false. This is often the case because respondents either fear a possible backlash from the research or are just not comfortable with it. Related to this and for similar reasons, is also the uncooperative attitude of organizations. Many organizations restrict access to their staff for fear of exposing what would rather not let out. It is anticipated that the case study will exhibit these tendencies. The researcher will however overcome this by allaying their fears through confidentiality and non-disclose agreements.

 

 

1.9 Definition of Terms

Table 1: Shows Definition of Terms

Terms Meaning
BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Is a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective service at metro-level capacities with the right features, BRT is able to avoid the causes of delay that typically slow regular bus services, like being stuck in traffic and queuing to pay on board.
LAMATA (Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority) Is the Lagos Government agency created to coordinate transport planning, policies, and public transport infrastructure implementation in Lagos Metropolitan Area, Nigeria
MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) This is also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas.
LRT (Lite Rapid Transit) Is form of passenger urban rail transit characterized by a combination of train and metro features. While its rolling stock is more similar to a traditional tram, it operates at a higher capacity and speed and often on an exclusive right-of-way
Run ways BRT vehicles operate primarily in fast and easily identifiable exclusive transit-ways or dedicated bus lanes. Vehicles may also operate in general.
Stations BRT stations, ranging from enhanced shelters to a large transit centers, are attractive and easily accessible. They are also conveniently located and integrated into the community they serve.
Route structure BRT uses simple, often color-coded routes. They can be laid out to provide direct, no-transfer rides to multiple destinations.
Terms Meaning
Short wait More frequent service; Even spacing between vehicles
Easy to use Easy and rapid embarkation and debarkation; Simple fare collection; Clear signing including indication of route
Accessible Ease of access for physically challenged and elderly
Welcoming Comfortable vehicles interior designed for the both seating and standing; Clean, affordable service (in line with other transit services)
Integrated Convenient to parking and other transportation modes including neighborhood bus service and bicycle access
Distinctive Modern, distinctive design for vehicles and stations
Low environmental impact Low emission and low noise transit vehicles
Incremental development Service can grow to meet rising demand and to accommodate new challenge
RTC Road Traffic Crash
Pre-boarding In this process, passengers enter a separate area after having their boarding pass inspected before the bus is ready to be boarded and once actual boarding commences passengers simply enter the bus.
LBSL Lagos Bus service Limited
MPH Miles per hour
Consortia

 

 

A consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments (or any combination of these entities) with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal.
Terms Meaning
Concession a thing that is granted, especially in response to demands.
Billeting Building given out for temporary time being
Turnstiles a mechanical gate consisting of revolving horizontal arms fixed to a vertical post, allowing only one person at a time to pass through.

 

Satellite an artificial body placed in orbit round the earth or moon or another planet in order to collect information or for communication.
TranMilenio TransMilenio consists of several interconnected BRT lines, with raised floor stations in the center of a main avenue.

Source: Author’s compilation (2021)

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