Commuters resort to ferry, train

As the traffic situation in Apapa grows worse by the day, workers and commuters have started embracing other modes of transportation to get to their destinations, according to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY investigation.

Many commuters now patronise train and ferry services to get to their places of work and at much lower costs.

The ferry jetty behind Flour Mills in Apapa has become a beehive of activities as commuters throng the facility to board ferries into and out of the traffic prone port area.

Over the past three weeks, it took an average of four hours to drive from Ijora to Apapa while entering the port city from the Mile 2 end has become practically impossible.

A correspondent of SHIPS & PORTS DAILY who visited the CMS jetty of Texas connection ferry on Wednesday observed an unusually long queue of passengers struggling to get seats onboard ferries.

A commuter at the jetty at CMS, Augustin Nwadinamuo said he waited for over 45 minutes on the queue before he could get onto a ferry.

He said, “Though the ferry was overcrowded but I summoned the courage to be on the ferry because of the life jacket I was given to wear.

“I used ferry but have been consistently using it for the past two weeks because of the state of Apapa road.”

When our correspondent visited the Flour Mills jetty during closing hour, he also noticed long queues of workers waiting for ferries to take them back home.

A visit to the train station on Wednesday morning also showed a large number of workers from the mainland using the train service.

Tosin Adesanya who works at the Apapa branch of one of the first generation banks, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY yesterday at the Iddo Train Station that she was taking her first ride in a locomotive.

“This is the first time I will ever board the train and it was because of the gridlock, though Ibelieve it is faster but if normalcy returns to the road, I will go back to taking the road because I still have my reservation for the train,” she stated.

 

Another first timer, Hamed Olawunmi, who heads the administrative unit of a freight forwarding company in Apapa said, “I have been spending over N700 to get to Oshodi since last week due to the gridlock and that is draining my pocket.

“Also, to get home early and leave for the office early, I have no other choice than to swallow my pride and use the train.

“When I called my dad that I am on the train, he exclaimed because he has advised me to use it to save money.”

At the close of work, long queues of commuters were seen at the reception of the Apapa Train Station near the popular Airways Bus Stop.

Commuters were seen scampering for insufficient seats on board the trains.

An official of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) who does not want his name in print said, “The corporation sales record in the past few weeks had increased due to the traffic situation here.



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