Fred Itua, Abuja
As part of plans to reduce the spread of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration, has directed commercial buses and taxi drivers to stop the use of air conditioners.
It also rolled out other measures, geared towards reducing body contacts among passengers boarding commercial vehicles or taxis.
Director of The FCT Directorate of Roads Traffic Services (DRTS), also known as Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), Wadata Bodinga, told newsmen that tricycles and commercial motorbikes, are not excepted from the new guidelines.
He said: “In furtherance to the efforts of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) towards curbing the spread of COVID-19 in public transportation environment of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the transportation secretariat is hereby notifying members of the public that the following 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.
“While it is advised that FCT citizenry maintain minimal movement and avoid shared taxis and buses where possible during this period, all transport operators should maintain a high level of cleanliness in their offices and among their staff. All parks and garages should be regularly sanitised.
“All vehicles should be regularly cleaned and sanitised 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 sanitisers for the use of drivers, conductors and passengers. All passengers should sanitise 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 three 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.
“It is, therefore, an 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.”