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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why does Nigeria treat its citizens like cattle whose lives are near worthless? Does anyone else see what I see here? At this so-called bus station, you make passengers line up single file with their backs to oncoming traffic, which is only a foot or two from the curb. Look at the silver car in the bottom right corner. Now look at the lady in blue pants and green tops. Notice how close her right leg is to the edge on the curb? One slip and she could end up with her hip colliding with the silver car. And this is supposed to be an expressway. I am not a Nigerian and I am reluctant to be too critical of much of what I’ve seen in Lagos and this forum. I am an American whose dad was an expat in Lagos and I spent much of my teenage years there. In the US, the threat of a law suit would have made the Bus Transit officials rethink this bus station. This is just careless, senseless and endangering people’s lives unnecessarily.

To allhavoc: I understand what you are saying, but when the government had a chance to build on a blank canvass, there is just no excuse for this. I am looking at this foremost from a safety standpoint. Notice how people are walking against traffic because the queue line is so narrow.

Here is how the South American country of Columbia implemented its BRT systems:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/world/americas/10degrees.html?_r=4&partner=MOREOVERNEWS&ei=5040
Check out the video toward the bottom of the page

Here is Transmilenio’s web site
http://www.transmilenio.gov.co/WebSite/Default.aspx

The Lagos government is well-meaning, but the officials responsible for these infrastructures don’t thoroughly think through their implementation. I saw many examples of poor implementation in Lagos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The bus stations don`t look smart at all.


A photo of LagBus station
This is better

Why does Nigeria treat its citizens like cattle whose lives are near worthless? Does anyone else see what I see here? At this so-called bus station, you make passengers line up single file with their backs to oncoming traffic, which is only a foot or two from the curb. Look at the silver car in the bottom right corner. Now look at the lady in blue pants and green tops. Notice how close her right leg is to the edge on the curb? One slip and she could end up with her hip colliding with the silver car. And this is supposed to be an expressway. I am not a Nigerian and I am reluctant to be too critical of much of what I’ve seen in Lagos and this forum. I am an American whose dad was an expat in Lagos and I spent much of my teenage years there. In the US, the threat of a law suit would have made the Bus Transit officials to rethink this bus station. This is just careless, senseless and endangering people’s lives unnecessarily.
To allhavoc: I understand what you are saying, but when the government had a chance to build on a blank canvass, there is just no excuse for this. I am looking at this foremost from a safety standpoint. Notice how people are walking against traffic because the queue line is so narrow.
Here is how the South American country of Columbia implemented its BRT systems.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/world/americas/10degrees.html?_r=4&partner=MOREOVERNEWS&ei=5040
Check out the video toward the bottom of the page

Here is Transmilenio’s web site
http://www.transmilenio.gov.co/WebSite/Default.aspx

The Lagos government is well-meaning, but the officials responsible for these infrastructures don’t thoroughly think through their implementation. I saw many examples of poor implementation in Lagos.
 

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ive always thought the system was organized until you pointed it out. maybe a aerial terminal should be constructed. ive seen such terminals in the san francisco bay area.
 

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Why does Nigeria treat its citizens like cattle whose lives are near worthless? Does anyone else see what I see here? At this so-called bus station, you make passengers line up single file with their backs to oncoming traffic, which is only a foot or two from the curb. Look at the silver car in the bottom right corner. Now look at the lady in blue pants and green tops. Notice how close her right leg is to the edge on the curb? One slip and she could end up with her hip colliding with the silver car. And this is supposed to be an expressway. I am not a Nigerian and I am reluctant to be too critical of much of what I’ve seen in Lagos and this forum. I am an American whose dad was an expat in Lagos and I spent much of my teenage years there. In the US, the threat of a law suit would have made the Bus Transit officials rethink this bus station. This is just careless, senseless and endangering people’s lives unnecessarily.
But how many people have actually been run over while waiting for BRT buses since its launch in 2007?

The answer is NONE! Fact is that there is actually a method to what seems to outsiders as our madness in Lagos. And while you are actually not the first person to note this particular potential danger (as some newspaper commentaries pointed out much the same issues when the then BRT Lite was first launched), these issues have to be placed within proper context and perspective. First, is that the BRT is a work-in-progress and several of its operational features have undergone (and continues to undergo) various changes (and improvements). Second, the BRT is a VAST IMPROVEMENT over the previous circumstances, when commuters jogged along major highways and roads hopping into and out of moving (or stopping) contraptions known as molues and danfos, often in the middle of traffic. Frankly, getting Nigerians to orderly queue for anything at all is in itself a considerable step forward. And there's little reason to believe that there would be no further improvements.
 

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Furthermore, most of the BRT bus-stops are like the following, with commuters standing BEHIND the barriers, out of the way of vehicular traffic (although a few anomalies like the one in your picture still exists):




 

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I think that last image is a scene from union strike, possibly, in Londond. But, I don't think that's the issue being debated by Cardozoh, whom I sincerely agree with. The govt. way of implementing project in Nigeria doesn't actually take security of the lives of the citizens in high concern. I must quickly say here that it's a fabulous project yet there so many things lacking that would have made it much more better and aesthetic.These things are what make developed nations project different from the third world. Let the Nigerian govt. take the time to add details to its projects whatsoever. Building for the future rather than just put up project for the sake of service disregarding other utmost important things. I read in the time past that the project was going to be state-of-the-art project, now so many things make it to lack the features. I dear challenge the idea of not taking security and the aesthetic nature of developed countries into place in this project in Lagos.

JoblessBeggar, the sincerity in Cardozoh comment unfurled the very essene why this project need more attention in many areas. I think there shgould be an open section for people to voice their veiws on the project. Though, the project has been successful in it own way, able to reduce the use of molu buses(the yellow buses) which are in a very bad state to a better ones like the blue and red Lagbus. There're still unsstisfactory side to it, that's it should have been a thing that would have changed the transport system of Lagos city in a slicky and formidable way yet details that're lacking in the Bus-stopsecurity, the dedicated lanes and the less beautification of the area.
 

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I think that last image is a scene from union strike, possibly, in Londond.
Dude, I know exactly where the image is from. So please try to buy a sense of humour. Geez! :eek:hno:

As for the rest of your post, I already noted that comments have been made and changes have been made (and continue to be made accordingly), as the BRT remains a work-in-progress. Nevertheless, the bus stop image posted by cardozoh is actually an anomaly that occurs only in areas such Ikorodu Road, where there is a service lane beside the BRT bus-stops (and where during peak periods, the commuting crowd spills over onto the median) -- substantively in much the same manner that the London bus-top image would be described an anomaly that occurs during tube strikes. Fact is that the majority of Lagos roads serviced by the BRT do not have such service lanes and thus this is not an issue with a majority of BRT bus-stops. Furthermore, the present rehabilitation of the service lanes on Ikorodu Roads would be expected to address some of these issues, which is why it is important to reiterate that this remains a WORK-IN-PROGRESS!

Unfortunately, some comments here often seem unable to grasp the reality that Nigeria is a developing third world country, and what one hopes to see from every developing country is development -- in essence, continuous improvement over pre-existing conditions, not necessarily equality with rich advanced developed nations (albeit that should be the aspiration and the ultimate goal). Rome was not built in a day, and neither will Nigeria.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
The other thing I neglected to point out is this: The BRT rides on a single lane partitioned by those black and white concrete road barriers. What happens if a BRT bus breaks down? How will they get a tow truck in the BRT lane to tow the bus away? It can tie up traffic in the car lanes for hours just trying to get the broken-down but off the BRT lane. Take a look at the way Bogata, Columbia implemented its BRT lanes. There are two parallel lanes so that if a bus blocks one lane, the other lane is still open for through traffic.

If I were to implement the BRT system in Lagos, I would make the station platform wide enough so that a large, enclosed shelter could be built in place. I would also make it quite long to accommodate a large number of people. The enclosed platform would have sliding doors that would open when a bus arrived. The room to do this is there. Just look at the space between the cars. This suggests to me that the car lanes are rather wide and you could take some space from the car lanes.

Foot traffic in/out of each bus station would be serviced by a wide overhead walkway that would integrate concession stalls for soft drinks, small items to eat while you wait for your bus, and a coin or money-card operated public lavatory. The overhead walkway and bus platform would have benches so the elderly and children could sit. I would also install surveillance cameras for public safety and have permanent police presence there at all times, even at night (I think Lagos is already putting cameras in place). The concession stalls and restrooms would generate additional revenue to service and maintain the BRT stations. If Lagos were to have 100 of these stations, for example, the state could have two to four market women license the concession stalls and pay a reasonable monthly rent to the transportation department. That’s employment for 200-400 people. To be clear though, the full amenities will be available only at high-traffic stations.

Tickets would be dispensed from automated machines, but regular riders would buy monthly bus passes. Entry to the platforms would be controlled via turnstiles to keep out people who have no business on the bus platforms. The general public can however use the concession stalls and public lavatories. BTW, France has self-cleaning, money-operated public lavatories that are very clean, classy and hygienic.

To cap it all, I would air condition the overhead walkway, the stairway(s) leading to the BRT platform and the platform itself. Power can come from solar panels (as in the VW Phaethon car) integrated into the roof of the walkway and the BRT station, augmented by utility grid. The air conditioning and sophistication of the BRT stations will make it appealing to wealthier clientele and hopefully, they’ll ditch their cars and take public transportation. It will also be a draw for tourist who come to Lagos because cities in America and Europe do not have fully enclosed and air-conditioned bus stops. Image this: a Londoner or New Yorker comes to Lagos as a tourist and goes back home raving about the fully accessorized bus stations.

You have to look at this in the larger context of what you’re trying to make Lagos: a world-class city. Don’t just build these infrastructures to be “adequate”; make them better than what’s available in the western world. This is your opportunity to leapfrog the west in some areas. Dubai, Singapore, China and some developing Asian countries have learnt this. My mother was a school teacher and one of her favorite saying was, “Study for a C and you’re guaranteed to get an F; study for a B and will get a C; but study to excel and you will certainly get an A”.

The tools and technology to make the BRT system first class already exist. What’s lacking is the imagination, foresight, and sophistication of though in Lagos to carry this idea to its ultimate level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
JoblessBeggar,

Your reaction is one that always makes me reluctant to say anything about Nigeria. In the US, we welcome criticisms as a way to make things better. We regularly criticize how government does things here because we fund the government with our tax money.

I lived in Lagos long ago when Lagos had sheltered bus stops. I lived in Lagos at the time when the government imported large, air-conditioned buses from Europe. But lack of maintenance and commitment crippled that experiment. The BRT may be different from what Lagos had in the past, but it's nothing new.

I had taken bus transportation in Lagos (with our next door neighbors who are Nigerians) from Ikoyi to the business district on the mainland. I don’t remember the name of the stop that was our final destination, but it was somewhere near Tinub Square. We would walk a short distance to shop at the stores in that area. But our favorite destination was always a record store ran by a Lebanese gentleman. There were listening booths in the store, so you could listen to the album before you bought it. One of the records I bought at that store was Phase II, by a rock group known as BLO. I still have the album to this day and I enjoy listening to it when I think of Lagos.

The reason I am telling you all these is that I am not some snobbish, nose-in-the-air expat who looked down on his host community. Some of us like the people, the culture (the white-clad Eyo festival is awesome), but we get exasperated at the slapdash manner in which Nigeria seems to do things. My parents not only mingled with Nigerians, but went to some of those street parties that had live juju bands for entertainment. They always said it was the first time they actually danced together since they got married.

I went to a concert with my Nigerian friends at the then-newly-built National Stadium in ’74 or ’75. Halfway through the set by BLO, my favorite Nigerian group, soldiers came in and broke up the concert. I left that day with a bitter taste of how Nigerian government sometimes treated its citizens.
 

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The other thing I neglected to point out is this: The BRT rides on a single lane partitioned by those black and white concrete road barriers. What happens if a BRT bus breaks down? How will they get a tow truck in the BRT lane to tow the bus away? It can tie up traffic in the car lanes for hours just trying to get the broken-down but off the BRT lane.
And you think BRT buses have never broken down since 2007?

Dude, some of these issues had been taken into consideration and adequately provided for. Nevertheless, you do appear to have some admittedly good ideas, but unfortunately also appear to lack adequate information about the Lagos BRT program (and possibly updated information about Lagos itself). Accordingly, you might be best counseled to contact either the agency that supervises the BRT (LAMSTA) or its operators (LAGBUS and the NURTW). The Lagos govt is always open to new ideas and partners. Unfortunately, a regular problem with Africans is that we are often too busy moaning about challenges to see opportunities inherent therein.
 

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Btw, this is just a silly overgeneralization. :eek:hno::eek:hno:
That doesn't sound like generalization to me. I thought is more like emphasis than generalizing the whole thing. Like way of pointing to many insecurity in the nation's projects. I saw on the satelite yesterday some collapsed buildings in Abuja which people comment the govt. have been reluctant to do something about them even when the neighbors report the condition of the buildings. I hope you will get the clear picture than being angry over an arguement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
And you think BRT buses have never broken down since 2007?

Dude, some of these issues had been taken into consideration and adequately provided for. Nevertheless, you do appear to have some admittedly good ideas, but unfortunately also appear to lack adequate information about the Lagos BRT program (and possibly updated information about Lagos itself). Accordingly, you might be best counseled to contact either the agency that supervises the BRT (LAMSTA) or its operators (LAGBUS and the NURTW). The Lagos govt is always open to new ideas and partners. Unfortunately, a regular problem with Africans is that we are often too busy moaning about challenges to see opportunities inherent therein.

JoblessBeggar,

You seem quite emotional in your responses. I can understand that you feel a foreigner is being too critical of your country. But I am not going to give you a low-scale pass and say that because Nigeria is a developing African country, mediocre is good enough for you. That would be prejudicial on my part. I am going to hold you to a high standard because Nigeria has had over thirty years of oil fortune and you need to start showing much more than mediocre infrastructure for it.

I suspect you’re younger than I, but when my family lived in Lagos, the Nigerian currency was worth as much or more than the US dollar. Back then, the ubiquitous yellow buses you mentioned weren’t yellow; they were white, beige, or some other color. More importantly, they tended to be brand new VW buses (yes, brand new), not the smoke-belching wrecks that provided the bulk of transportation in Lagos until recently.

What has happened between then and now?

How was (Bogata) Colombia, another developing country, able to put together a BRT system of such sophistication to warrant study by San Francisco and some European cities? Columbia’s GDP is only about $30b more than Nigeria’s. That’s less than what Nigeria wastes yearly flaring gas in its oil fields. You see, the first step in finding a solution to a problem is to admit you have a problem. Columbia didn’t say that because it is a “developing third world country”, therefore, it would deliver a slapdash BRT system to its citizens. No, they gave it a long hard thought and what they delivered is the envy of South America. And yes, it was the first implementation of their BRT system.
 

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Dude, I know exactly where the image is from. So please try to buy a sense of humour. Geez! :eek:hno:

As for the rest of your post, I already noted that comments have been made and changes have been made (and continue to be made accordingly), as the BRT remains a work-in-progress. Nevertheless, the bus stop image posted by cardozoh is actually an anomaly that occurs only in areas such Ikorodu Road, where there is a service lane beside the BRT bus-stops (and where during peak periods, the commuting crowd spills over onto the median) -- substantively in much the same manner that the London bus-top image would be described an anomaly that occurs during tube strikes. Fact is that the majority of Lagos roads serviced by the BRT do not have such service lanes and thus this is not an issue with a majority of BRT bus-stops. Furthermore, the present rehabilitation of the service lanes on Ikorodu Roads would be expected to address some of these issues, which is why it is important to reiterate that this remains a WORK-IN-PROGRESS!

Unfortunately, some comments here often seem unable to grasp the reality that Nigeria is a developing third world country, and what one hopes to see from every developing country is development -- in essence, continuous improvement over pre-existing conditions, not necessarily equality with rich advanced developed nations (albeit that should be the aspiration and the ultimate goal). Rome was not built in a day, and neither will Nigeria.
.
You posted it and you should know where it's from. I was just saying it for the sake of those who are quick to conclude on things. Mind you you're almost doing thesame thing from your comment.
 

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JoblessBeggar,

You seem quite emotional in your responses. I can understand that you feel a foreigner is being too critical of your country. But I am not going to give you a low-scale pass and say that because Nigeria is a developing African country, mediocre is good enough for you. That would be prejudicial on my part. I am going to hold you to a high standard because Nigeria has had over thirty years of oil fortune and you need to start showing much more than mediocre infrastructure for it.

I suspect you’re younger than I, but when my family lived in Lagos, the Nigerian currency was worth as much or more than the US dollar. Back then, the ubiquitous yellow buses you mentioned weren’t yellow; they were white, beige, or some other color. More importantly, they tended to be brand new VW buses (yes, brand new), not the smoke-belching wrecks that provided the bulk of transportation in Lagos until recently.

What has happened between then and now?

How was (Bogata) Colombia, another developing country, able to put together a BRT system of such sophistication to warrant study by San Francisco and some European cities? Columbia’s GDP is only about $30b more than Nigeria’s. That’s less than what Nigeria wastes yearly flaring gas in its oil fields. You see, the first step in finding a solution to a problem is to admit you have a problem. Columbia didn’t say that because it is a “developing third world country”, therefore, it would deliver a slapdash BRT system to its citizens. No, they gave it a long hard thought and what they delivered is the envy of South America. And yes, it was the first implementation of their BRT system.

Mentality is the problem. Rather than think of themselves as a "third world country", they should think of themselves as a rich country with a poor standard of living in general and then be motivated to correct that discrepancy.
 

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Mentality is the problem. Rather than think of themselves as a "third world country", they should think of themselves as a rich country with a poor standard of living in general and then be motivated to correct that discrepancy.
Reality bites.

Dude, you can think of yourself as a seven-foot reincarnation of Shaquille O'Neal, but if you are a five-foot lead-footed smurf, all of the positive "mentality" in the world would not make it so. As I previously noted, all nations (and peoples) should be aspirational, but our present REALITY is that Nigeria is a third world developing country (and not even a rich one, as its massive largely uneducated or poorly-educated population negates its oil income). What would be gratifying in such a developing country is to actually see DEVELOPMENT, not revel in delusional pie-in-the-sky fantasy in a nation where there are no books and no drugs in dilapidated public schools and hospitals. Reality also is that the BRT is exactly such DEVELOPMENT, but remains a work-in-progress. Hopefully, it will eventually get where it needs to be.
 

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That doesn't sound like generalization to me. I thought is more like emphasis than generalizing the whole thing. Like way of pointing to many insecurity in the nation's projects. I saw on the satelite yesterday some collapsed buildings in Abuja which people comment the govt. have been reluctant to do something about them even when the neighbors report the condition of the buildings. I hope you will get the clear picture than being angry over an arguement.
More anectodal overgeneralization. :eek:hno:

I suppose the bridge that collapsed in Minnesota last year is conclusive determination that the US does not care for the safety and security of its citizens? How about the collapsed terminal at the Paris Airport?
 
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