Transportation is one of the key factors used in determining the cost and standard of living in a particular geographical space. In most cases, when it comes to work three factors are important: Accommodation, transportation, and salary. This helps in calculating your income.
In places like Lagos, you may think that you earn a lot, but you earn a little in the real sense. Housing in Lagos is a game of survival of the fittest. Even when you have money, you may have issues with the location. Most Lagosians do not have enough funds to get their choice apartments in areas close to their places of work. Thus, most times Lagosians tend to live in areas far from their places of work.
So many Lagosians live in areas far from their places of work because they cannot afford to rent a flat on the Island. However, the implication of this is that most of these people end up spending a large chunk of their income on transportation and do not usually live a healthy life.
The routine of a Lagosian who lives at Badagry and works at Ajah would have to board a bus which costs 250NGN from Badagry to Mile 2, from Mile 2 to CMS for 250NGN and from CMS to Ajah for 250NGN. He/she would have spent 750NGN to work, and possibly spent four to five hours to get work. Now, let’s imagine he spends the same amount of money to get back home and the same number of hours on the road, he would possibly spend 1500NGN on transportation and eight to ten hours on the road. Thus, if he resumes work at 8:00 am and closes from work at 4:00 pm, he would have to leave his house at 4am and, possibly get back home at 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm.This is an unhealthy and expensive lifestyle.
For this cause, most Nigerians have found train as a better option to cut down the cost of transportation and enhance their saving. Perhaps they would do anything including jumping and hanging on just to make sure that they get on the train. The train has now become a messiah figure to many Nigerians who live from their places of work. The train may be a safe mode of transportation, however, so many Nigerians abuse it, by hanging on trains.
The train journey in Nigeria may be a satire of the political and economic status of the country where everyone tries to survive no matter the situation. Nigerians just keep getting along and smiling in the worse situation. As a popular songwriter says Nigerians are suffering and smiling.
The good news is that the Lagos state Government have been putting measures in place to improve rail transportation.