From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has concluded plans for a sustainable Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to help tackle the chaotic state of transportation in the Territory and its environs.
The move was disclosed by FCT Minister Muhammad Musa Bello at a stakeholder’s validation workshop for the review of the conceptual design and available studies for long-term integrated Abuja Bus Rapid Transit studies.
The Minister, represented by his Chief of Staff, Bashir Mai-Bornu, explained that the measure would take off the pressures on FCT roads, reduce the travel time of commuters and create pleasurable intermodal transportation in the Territory.
He noted that the provision of a reliable BRT system in the FCT, which takes into account punctuality, travel time, safety and comfort is usually based on careful planning and well-structured approach.
FCT Permanent Secretary Olusade Adesola disclosed that FCT Administration has secured a CTF grant of $950,000, administered through Africa Development Bank (AfDB) for the Abuja BRT Study.
Olusade added that the study done through CPCS Transcom Engineering Services was to develop the project’s technical, financial and economic feasibility and develop preliminary and detailed designs and preparation of bidding documents for the implementation of the project.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by Director in the FCTA, Mohammed Bashir, explained that the Abuja BRT project, which runs over a 32.2-kilometre distance with includes 23 bus stops, will run from Eagle Square in the Central Business District (CBD) in the FCT to Auta-Balefi in Nassarawa State, as a component of the Abuja Urban Mass Transit System.
‘The corridor is primarily formed by the Abuja-Keffi highway, which presently is the only link between the Abuja CBD and the vast communities to the east of the city that provides a significant portion
of the workforce for Abuja.
‘The concept combines the high capacity that a light rail or metro system is able to provide, and, at the same time, is able to be built at a significantly lower cost than a rail system,’ the Permanent Secretary stressed.
Earlier in her remarks, the Acting Secretary, Transportation Secretariat, Alice Odey-Achu, reiterated that the commitment to the sustainable, effective and efficient public transport system in Abuja will not stop with the BRT study, but that the government will go to the next stage of the procurement of the pilot corridor prepared in the Abuja BRT Study.
‘I understand that the tender documents for the corridor have been prepared and, with contributions invited from stakeholders for the improvement of the study output, we are ready to go.
‘Another aspect of the study that is expected to generate robust contributions from participants is project financing, including Public-Private Partnership (PPP) options,’ she stated.