Popularly known as the Abuja Light Rail, it is also referred to as the Abuja Rail Mass Transit. Local rail infrastructure. This is the first rapid transit system of its kind in Nigeria and all of West Africa. It is also the second structure of its kind to be constructed in Sub-Saharan Africa. First was the Addis Abeba Light Rail system.
The first phase of the Abuja Light Rail project connects Abuja City Centre to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and terminates in Idu district at the Abuja-Kaduna Railway Station.
The Abuja rapid transit began operations on July 12, 2018, allowing passengers to utilise its three-per-day service beginning the following week.
History of the Abuja Light Rail
A proposal for a regional or local rail system that serves Abuja was initiated in 1997, but there was a delay due to inadequate or insufficient funding. The contract for the construction of the initial two phases, known as Lots 1 and 3, was awarded to the Nigerian branch of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd (CCECC Nigeria) in May 2007.
The first phase consists of 42,5 kilometers, two lines, and 12 stations. It was inaugurated in July 2018 and connects Abuja City Center to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport via the Lagos-Kano Standard Guage Railway station in Idu.
The proposal for the rail system was that it would be constructed in 6 phases, covering a 290KM network. And the total cost of the project was estimated to be 824 million US dollars; it was constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd with loans from Exim Bank of China covering 60% of the expenditure.
In the first phase which was commissioned in 2018, three stations opened in this phase although 12 stations were planned.
The Yellow Line runs through the Abuja Central Business District to the International Airport with the following stations planned: Abuja Metro, Stadium, Kukwaba I, Kukwaba II, Wupa, Idu, Bassanjiwa, and Airport.
5 stations were planned for the Blue Line to travel through Idu to Kubwa. The stations are: Idu, Gwagwa, Deidei, Kagini, and Gbazango.
Operations of the Abuja Light Rail
When the service launched in 2018, only the Abuja Metro Station, the intermediate station at Idu, and the Airport were operational. The remaining nine stations were scheduled to launch in 2020.
As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger service on the line was suspended in early 2020 and has not resumed as of the third quarter of 2022.
The Abuja Light Rail project was intended to be a solution to the Federal Capital Territory’s and other neighboring cities’ persistent transportation issues. In its current state, however, the rail system provides no benefit to its citizens, who require a more efficient transportation system.
Regarding the query of whether the Abuja Light Rail is operational, the answer is no, and there are no updates regarding its reopening. If you appreciated this article, please tell us what you think in the comment section. Additionally, visit aroundabuja.com for more updates.