The Abuja light rail commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari last week has opened to passengers in Abuja on Wednesday.

Passengers were permitted this week to ride the first phase of the Abuja light railway system, which connects the international airport with other parts of the city.

This has now become a relief for many Abuja residents who work in the capital city but live on the outskirts of Abuja or satellite towns, due to the high cost of living in inner city areas.

“If you want to go by the road it’s usually a very long distance and it’s quite expensive but with this train now it makes life easier,” said passenger Tamara Ibiwe of the journey from central Abuja to the airport, while speaking to Reuters.

Also Read: 5 Things You Don’t Know About Abuja Light Rail

Another user, Daniel Ajone, a retired civil servant, welcomed the train service’s adherence to a timetable, in contrast to the taxis and vans typically used as public transit in cities across Nigeria.

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“I think this will impact positively on the economy, you know, on the economy of this country. When this is replicated all over the place there will be less pressure on our roads,” he added.

The first phase, built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation at a cost of $823 million, about 296 billion naira, comprises of 45.25 kilometres (28.12 miles) of track on two lines. When completed, there will be six lines and 292 kilometres of track.

It was announced last year that the Chinese state-run company would also construct the second phase of the network.

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