1. Background of the study

Transportation implies the movement of people, goods, services and information by specific modes, some of which are roads, railways, airlines, and shipping lines (Fadare and Omole, 1991a). These modes have been studied widely all over the world by researchers in varying disciplines. While all modes of transport are important in national development, the main focus of this paper is the rail transportation in Lagos metropolis. The importance of well-organized public transport is acknowledged in both developed and developing countries because, public transport systems are more efficient means of transporting large numbers of people between and within settlements than the flexible private cars (Adeniji, 1983, 1987; TSU, 2002; Daramola, 2004). The significant contribution of public transport to travel in urban areas cannot be overemphasized and incidentally there has been a diffusion of urban centers over the years   in   several   parts   of   Nigeria,   while   the    rate of urbanisation and the rate of urban growth have also been persistently high. Average annual growth rate in urban areas is about 4.7% as against the national growth rate of 2.8% (World Bank, 2006a, b). 

In Nigeria, the road transport sub sector plays a dominant role in the internal movement of passengers and goods accounting for over 95% of overland movement of passengers and freight (NISER, 2003). As many as 47% of Nigerians now live in urban areas (World Bank, 2006b) while up to 70% of urban residents make their trips using public transport (Oyesiku, 2002). The issues of public transport provision, which have been compounded by phenomenon of urban sprawl, have not been appreciably addressed at the level of policy while some of the issues addressed in the policy document have not been implemented.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation was to manage and operate the railway undertakings and provide all necessary facilities for carriage of passengers and goods. The social duties of the corporation seem to out weight the economic (Iwayemi, 1987). This is due to many unprofitable services especially passengers’ services it renders   to   the  society.  In any  case,  the  passengers’  services have been very important as a social service in the operations of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.