By Stanley Onyekwere
To further enforce social distance order, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) through its Transport Secretariat has issued new modalities to transporters on their operations in the nation’s capital city, in the wake of the ravaging Covid-19.
Consequently, all public taxies are to henceforth carry one passenger at the front seat and two persons at the back seat.
Making this known at a press conference in Abuja, Director, FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Wadata Bodinga is measure to curb further spread of COVID-19 in public transportation environment of the Territory.
Bodiga cautioned that FCT citizenry should maintain minimal movement and avoid shared taxis and buses where possible during this period.
He informed members of the public that the guidelines should henceforth be strictly observed and will also be duly enforced by the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Abuja Environmental Protection Board in conjunction with other security enforcement agencies.
According to him, “the guidelines are as follows: All transport operators to maintain high level of cleanliness in their offices and among their staff. All parks and garages should be regularly sanitized; All vehicles should be regularly cleaned and sanitized amid trips.
“All parks and garages should have alcohol-based sanitizers, hand washing soaps and running water for the use of passengers, drivers and other staff; All vehicles should have alcohol-based sanitizers for the use of Drivers, Conductors and Passengers.
He continued: “All passengers should sanitize themselves before and after each trip; All drivers and conductors should always wear recommended nose masks while in transit; The use of air conditioner in shared taxis and buses is hereby discouraged.
“All Taxis shall henceforth convey 3 passengers only: one person in the front seat and Two persons at the back seats; All buses shall convey 1 passenger in the front seat and 2 passengers on other seats with minimum contact maintained.
“ All high capacity buses shall operate at 50% of its capacity and standing shall no longer be allowed; All tricycles (where operation is allowed) shall convey 2 passengers only at the back seat and only the rider in the front seat.”
The DTRS boss stressed that it is serious offence to admit passengers or be allowed to be conveyed in vehicles or tricycles in excess of these guidelines.
“All commuters and passengers should maintain regular queues and orderly lines while maintaining social distancing to avoid needless contacts and struggles that might lead to altercations and spitting or droplets.
“All Taxis and Buses should keep and restock their vehicles with disposable wipes, tissues and other items for use by passengers to wipe down the car doors and other handles.
“Operators/Companies and passengers are expected to report any suspected case of COVID-19 to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Toll Free Number: 0800 9700 0010.
“Passengers are also expected to report any operator or company that does not comply with these guidelines to the FCT Transportation Secretariat or call DRTS (VIO) Call Centre.
“Enforcement of these guidelines is also applicable to operation of staff buses by governmental agencies, construction companies and other corporate organizations”, he explained.