Green helmets have become a mainstay in the city of Lagos. Motorcycle riders with these helmets are that city's version of ride-hailing companies like Uber or Taxify.
They are commercial motorcycle riders, popularly called okada, that you can have at your service within minutes anywhere in the Lagos metropolis by simply working an app on your phone, the same way Uber and Taxify services are beckoned. The creativity is, however, a step ahead of automobile taxi services as residents of the metropolis seek ways to beat the excruciating traffic problems to arrive at their destinations in good time. The okada, weaving in and out of long queues of traffic hold-up, will, you can be sure, arrive at your destination many minutes faster than any car taxi will.
In the metropolis, the traffic complexion has always been known for decades to be pale, with commuters stuck in traffic for several hours.
The situation seems worse these days as the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has initiated many road construction projects that are being done simultaneously.
On the Oshodi-Abule Egba, Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, the construction of a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) corridor has been going on for close two years. Attending the project daily is a gridlock, especially at peak traffic periods in the morning and evening when workers and traders are headed to their different offices or shops, or going back home. On best days, motorists and commuters can be stuck in traffic on the stretch for two hours.
In Agege, the state government is constructing a flyover at the Pen Cinema axis to ease the traffic jam that has been the norm there for many years. But before the paean that will come with the completion of that flyover, motorists that must use the road network in that area are going through great pains.
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