As part of measures to enforce the social distance as recommended by health professionals in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has ordered that no car must carry more than three passengers.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the Director, FCT Road Traffic Services, Wadata Bodinga, cautioned all transport operators to maintain high level of cleanliness in their offices and among their staff.
“While it is advised that FCT citizenry maintain minimal movement and avoid shared taxis and buses where possible during this period, all taxis shall henceforth convey three passengers only; one person in the front seat and two persons at the back seats.
“All buses shall convey one passenger in the front seat and two passengers on other seats with minimum contact maintained. All high capacity buses shall operate at 50 per cent of its capacity and standing shall no longer be allowed.
“All tricycles (where operation is allowed) shall convey two passengers only at the back seat and only the rider in the front seat, while all motorcycle operators (where operation is allowed) must use facemask,” he said
He however, called on Abuja residents to adhere strictly to the new guidelines as regards public transportation environment in the FCT, disclosing that the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Abuja Environmental Protection Board in conjunction with other security enforcement agencies have been ordered to ensure full compliance.
Bodinga stressed the need for all motor- parks and garages to be regularly sanitized, saying that all vehicles should be regularly cleaned and sanitized after every trip.
“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.
“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 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.
“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 call centre on 0700022852846, 07047008000, 08188889913,” the director added.
Speaking further, he warned that it is an offence to admit passengers or be allowed to be conveyed in vehicles or tricycles in excess of these guidelines, even as he advised all commuters and passengers to maintain regular queues and orderly lines while maintaining social distancing to avoid needless contacts and struggles that may lead to altercations and spitting or droplets.
Bodinga further explained that the enforcement of these guidelines is also applicable to operation of staff busses by governmental agencies, construction companies and other corporate organizations.