Ropeways Transport Limited has signed of a 30-year agreement with the Lagos State Government for the establishment of a $500 million cable car mass urban transit system in the emerging city to ease traffic and tension on its roads.

According to BusinessDay, Ropeways Transport will begin the construction of towers, stations and connecting network cables along mapped out routes in November.

The project will be partly financed by the African Development Bank and it is expected to be completed and commissioned by early 2015. The cable car mass transit system is expected to create about 500 direct jobs after completion with commuters paying between 200 naira ($1.28) and 300 naira ($1.92) per trip.

Various standard safety features would be integrated in the transit system including CCTV monitoring, audio communication links and passenger address systems.

Speaking on the development, Dapo Olumide ,chief executive officer of Ropeways Transport Limited said: “By complementing existing transport modes, the Lagos Cable Car Transit System will play its part in reducing the traffic congestion in the city.”

He added that “ …studies carried out in 2009 on vehicle registration show that an additional 200,000 vehicles are registered annually in Lagos State.

This equates to 222 vehicles per kilometre of road in Lagos, which by far outweighs the national average of just 11 vehicles per kilometer of road, with vehicles estimated to contribute more than 70 per cent of the air pollution in Lagos.”

The cable car system is rated as one of the safest means of transport worldwide. Based on a 2009 study by the Vancouver Metropolitan Transport Agency in Canada, passengers are 20,000 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident in a vehicle than in a cable car.

According to reports, by 2015 Lagos is expected to become the world’s third largest city with 25million inhabitants, with approximately 12 million daily passenger movements in the Lagos Metropolitan Area, growing at a rate of six per cent per annum.

The cable car transit system is being floated by a company owned by Dapo Olumide, former managing director of Virgin Nigeria Airlines; Yemi Osinbajo, former attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Lagos State and Yemi Ogunbiyi, proprietor, Tanus Communications Limited, BusinessDay said.

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