The original concept under El-Rufai (and it was the Abuja Masterplan as well) was a Light Rail system, with several stops within the city itself. It was really pushed when Nigeria was bidding for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but I presume that it was now been placed on the back burner.To be honest I don't know where people on SSC for example got this Light Rail Fascination from.
Commuter Rail is much more suitable for Metropolitan areas than Light Rail. Light Rail is more suited for concentrated urban areas. So a light rail would be suited for the Abuja City Proper. In fact seeing as how the Commuter Rail does not extend into Maitama/3 Arms etc....a Light Rail could connect the two there. In Gold Coast currently they are doing the same thing...using a conjuction of commuter rail, light rail and bus transit.
I think it would be extremely bizzare to try to connect areas extending into the Abuja Metro with Light Rail.
Commuter Rail is EXTREMELY useful. Especially in a city, without too much spatial constraints. Abuja is not that dense. The benefit of commuter rail is not only the amount of people that it can move (At the appropriate speeds) but it can also double up as a freight network. We do the same thing in Brisbane. Our Commuter Rail is a heavy rail network that moves a lot of shipment and livestock even.
So I am certainly not one of the Light Rail Fanatics. In fact in Brisbane, if you mention Light Rail you will be shot. It has its uses.....but there are specific situations that it is good for.
I totally disagreeI honestly don't believe that 5% of Abuja doesn't drive. I think this project is a waste of resources and will fall to rot because of low patronage. It's another unnatural 'look we're working' project that isn't based on any real projections. There's tons of them in the country and through out the country's history they always fail. Abuja roads are fairly wide and empty. Moreover the type of industries and activities that will attract commuters really aren't there.