By Stanley Onyekewere and Blessing Ibrahim
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) plans to procure at least 200 of high capacity buses with in built state- of- the- art facilities, in the next two years, to ensure steady expansion of the improved and efficient road mass transit system the Territory.
According to the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, who dropped the hint, when Vice President Namadi Sambo, commissioned addition 100 high capacity buses, procured by the FCTA through the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), said the administration also plans to set up an assembly for the buses, in Abuja.
He said the buses would assist in the realization of short time target of reducing travel time to 20 minutes and transport between 1.2 million to 2 million commuters from all entrances into the city and from the city to most Satellite Towns by 2015.
The minister reiterated that his administration would not relent in its effort to build and administer a capital city in compliance with the Abuja Master Plan, through the establishment of an effective and enduring service oriented administration that can respond to the needs and aspirations of all residents and stakeholders.
He added that the FCTA is working tirelessly to ensure a timely completion of the Abuja Metropolitan Rail Transport network, Lots 1A and 3 which are at over 50% completion.
“The launching of additional 100 High Capacity Buses into the fleet of the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company (AUMTCO) marks another milestone in our quest to make public transportation safer, more comfortable and more accessible.
“The buses are fitted with all the essential security apparatus to make them safe, Air-conditioned to make them comfortable and electronic payment system to make convenient them for our commuters,” he said.
Meanwhile, unveiling the 100 buses, the Vice President, noted that the FCT initiative forms part of the comprehensive Federal Government transportation roadmap designed to address the challenges being faced by the sector.
He expressed confidence that this new buses would go a long way in ameliorating the transportation problems of the residents of the Territory, especially thousands of workers staying in the Satellite Towns and suburbs of Abuja.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Managing Director of AUMTCO, Abdulrazaq Oniyangi thanked the Mohammed- led administration for its consistent support to the company to deliver on its mandate to the people.
He assured that the company would live up to its expectation by providing international standard services to the residents of the Territory.