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Surviving Lagos: A guide to navigating Lagos TrafficBy Aliyah Abdulahi on June 27, 2023

Eko Akete–Ilu Ogbon, is a popular Yoruba mantra that loosely translates to “Lagos is the home of wisdom”. It is said that you can’t be in Lagos and be dull. Time will definitely teach you! Lagos is a vibrant hub of hard work, active streets, and nightlife. Yet, amidst the hustle and bustle, there’s one common challenge that every Lagosian goes through on a regular basis–the infamous traffic.

Traffic in Lagos can be extremely frustrating, with hours spent stuck in gridlock. The amount of time spent in this traffic is so long that you could find love, get married or even complete your entire household shopping list. Lol!

IN3K8 Media · Surviving Lagos: A guide to navigating Lagos traffic

However, despite the fun and entertainment that Lagos offers, the traffic condition stands as one of its major downsides, capable of taking a toll on your entire day, and with the fuel scarcity and rainy season in full swing, the traffic situation is expected to worsen.

I have put together my five tips to help you cope with the gridlock and will be sharing them with you.

Avoid rush hours

To avoid the worst traffic jams, it is important to be aware of rush hour timings(usually between 6-10 am and 4-9 pm). This is why you should consider leaving your home either really early or late to swerve the peak rush hour congestion. Alternatively, if possible, opt for completing certain tasks remotely such as online shopping and food delivery services from the comfort of your home. This way, you can avoid the stress and hassle of commuting.

Utilize navigation apps and traffic updates

Try out apps like My Lagos App or Waze for real-time traffic updates and alternative route suggestions. You can find these apps on play store and App Store. Also, don’t forget that you can always tune in to Lagos Traffic Radio 96.1FM or check out @trafficchiefng on Twitter for live traffic reports before you hit the road.

Use alternative transportation

With the current fuel scarcity, opting for public transportation such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRTs), Tricycles (keke), bikes (okada) and ferries can help you save money and time.

Ferry services, in particular, are an affordable waterway transportation option because they tend to have lower fuel costs and can carry more passengers compared to private cars or danfo.  They also bypass much of the road congestion, resulting in faster and more efficient travel times.

Lagferry Falomo is a prominent waterways transportation service provider that is operated by the Lagos State Government (LASG), dedicated to offering reliable and efficient boat services on various routes. The details of their scheduled trips below and fares here

Lagferry Lagferry Routes

Ferry Port Apapa is another boat service that is operated by Sea Coach Express – a company with experience of the West African waters. A Senior Captain, Black Allen, provided the following information regarding Lagos routes, the trip schedule, and prices:
Ferry port stops Ferry Port Stops

The Ferry Port is within the Nigerian Flour Mills complex in Apapa and can save you time and money.
Ferry port servicesFerry Port Services

You can even try walking or cycling for shorter distances– not only will you avoid traffic but it will also help improve health benefits such as increasing stamina, maintaining a healthy weight, and burning calories. So you see, walking or cycling isn’t that bad!

Have travel essentials

Car owners and drivers should always make sure to have a spare tire, a tire jack, and a tire wrench in case of a flat tire. As for commuters, don’t leave home without your sunglasses and sunscreen(you definitely don’t want this Lagos sunburn on you!), a power bank, a book for the readers, and a playlist of your favorite tunes. I’ve made a Lagos traffic playlist as a coping mechanism.

Aliyah’s Lagos Traffic Playlist

Maintain safety and security measures

Lagos weather can be unpredictable and heavy rain can worsen traffic congestion. During such times, it’s important to drive safely by reducing speed, maintaining a safe distance, and minimizing distractions. However, in addition to safe driving practices, both car owners and public transport users should prioritize personal safety and security to ensure a safe journey by staying safe while driving, keeping windows closed, buckling up seat belts, and being vigilant at traffic stops. Similarly, for public transport users, choose reputable transportation options, keep a close eye on belongings, and remember to always Shine Ya Eye.

Kayode Ewumi says: Shine ya eye!
Kayode Ewumi says: Shine ya eye!

Surviving Lagos traffic requires a combination of smart planning, patience, and adaptability. While the gridlock can be overwhelming, implementing the tips mentioned above can help make your daily commute a little less stressful.

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