Today’s Lagos is a bustling network of various modes of transportation, from the comfortable to the adventurous. A great way to see the city is to hire one of many states – registered and privately run taxis, from which you will be shown the sights from the comfort of your seat. Municipal buses criss-cross the city on dedicated bus lanes, which means you won’t be spending much time in rush- hour traffic. For the buzz, the licensed hooded tricycles known as ‘keke Marwa’, may be the choice for you.
Getting around Lagos…….
- Let the time of day, destination and distance determine how you get around. The further your destination, then more comfortable the mode you must choose.
- An evening out requires a state-registered taxi, which will wait to take you back if need be, whilst for a short trip to the local super-market or shopping mall for an afternoon of light shopping, an ‘keke-merwa’ may suffice, for the more adventurous.
- Carry smaller denominations for the municipal buses and ‘keke-marwa’, and larger notes for all taxis.
The small yellow-painted with double black stripes buses (Danfo) are the most popular and cheapest means of commuting from place to place in Lagos. They make regular stops at all bus stops along their specific routes. Ensure you enter at specific bus stops in order to avoid falling victim of ‘one-chance’; where a bus suddenly stops and calls unsuspecting passengers who are then dispossessed of their belongings after moving a few meters. If you are new in Lagos, please be extremely vigilant.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is the new means of transportation in Lagos. It consists of high-capacity buses moving along dedicated lanes making the BRT system a very fast way of going from point to point. The system is well-embraced by Lagosians as it’s cheap, very safe and gets you to your destination quickly. For a little extra, you can take the fully-air-conditioned Red BRT buses in relative comfort. The BRT network is continuosly being expanded to cover other areas of the Lagos metropolis.
Orange Cabs are new brands of cabs recently introduced in Lagos. They operate brand new and well-maintained cars. Orange cabs use metering system to charge. This can be to you favour or otherwise depending on what direction you are facing; it can be very expensive if you are going to traffic-prone areas. The cars are very comfortable with Air conditioner. To call an Orange cab, call 01-2802274
Keke Marwa is a three-passenger tricycle that has become popular as a means of transportation within Lagos starting from the late nineties. Keke means bicycle in Yoruba language while Marwa is the name of the then Governor of Lagos State (Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa) who introduced the tricycles to Lagos. Keke Marwa operate within back-streets and carry only three passengers on very short trips. The drivers of these tricycles can be overzealous and display high level of exuberance. Look our for elderly drivers, they are usually more careful.
Nigerian Railway Service (NRC) operates an hourly bi-directional train service from Ijoko in Ogun state to Iddo terminus. The rail system has recently been upgraded to make them more efficient and new coaches added but they are largely over-crowded. Lagos State is currently constructing a light rail system. The Blue Line which will run from Okokomaiko to Marina is expected to be completed in 2011 while the Red Line will make use of the current NRC corridor and run from Ijoko to Iddo.
Okada now banned from majors roads and restricted to specific areas of the city, still remains a means of transportation in Lagos today. These are motorbikes that carry single passengers from point to point (Don’t be surprised to see 4 people sitting on one!). Okadas became extremely popular over the years as a result of the terrible Lagos traffic, giving passengers sure way of arriving early for your appointment by wading through thick traffic. After several failed attempts to ban them, the State government finally passing a law banning Okadas from major routes in Lagos. Strict rules have now been set out for the operators; passengers and riders must wear crash helmets, only one passenger allowed, no pregnant women or children allowed.
Caution: Okadas are extremely dangerous, please wear crash helmets and don’t stop screaming at the rider if he’s going too fast