Simply happy on the bus lane

29 June 2011 | 09:19 | English | Leave a comment (five)
One of the new bus stops in Lagos, NigeriaTotally new African experience: on the bus in the late afternoon, comfortably reading the newspaper, speeding on the bus lane passing by the commuters stuck in their cars in rush hour traffic. Yesterday I had to go from Ikeja, on the mainland of Nigeria's metropolis Lagos, to a meeting on the peninsula on which part of the city has been built. By car it would have taken me at least an hour - if I were lucky. Now I bought a 170 Naira ticket (75 eurocents) at the bus stop, waited in an orderly queue for my government subsidized BRT bus that brought me to my destination in less than half an hour. Public transport in Lagos! This city of eight million inhabitants, formerly known for its everlasting traffic jam, is changing. The BRT bus is part of an improvement of the urban infrastructure under governor Fashola of Lagos State, a project his predecessor had already started. And even though the city still lacks the most basic public services, for just a minute with my Guardian in my lap on that bus lane I felt simply happy. Change for the better is possible after all.