The implementation of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) new transport policy will take effect today with the introduction of high capacity bus operation in Abuja city centre to replace mini buses, which are now restricted to the satellite towns and area councils in the territory.
The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, who announced these measures yesterday in Abuja, called for cooperation of all residents to enable the policy work, stressing that it would enable government to subsidise mass transit in FCT.
Mohammed said the high capacity buses would not only move people in large numbers, but would reduce time spent in traffic and improve the economy of the FCT, adding that it was in the overall interest of all residents and visitors coming into the FCT for the policy to succeed.
He added that with the take-off of the new policy, tricycle transit operations (Keke NAPEP) would be at only designated housing estates and satellite towns.
He said: "As the new policy comes into operation, the high capacity buses will replace the services of the minibuses in such routes as Nyanya through AYA to Eagle Square/Wuse Market; Giri Junction through Airport Road to City Centre; Zuba Junction through ONEX (Outer Northern Expressway) to City Centre and Ring Road One circulation connecting Wuse Market and Eagle Square.
"Other popular routes that will also bid farewell to minibuses are Gudu Market Junction through Ahmadu Bello Way to Gwarimpa; Shehu Shagari Way through Federal Secretariat to Ring Road 1 Junction; Area 1/Area 3 through Moshood Abiola way/Tafawa Balewa Way, Herbert Macaulay – Utako Jabi and finally, Jabi through Ring Road 2, Galadimawa junction to Apo Mechanic.
"At each of these routes, the FCT Administration has provided service terminals at the beginning, end and intermediate locations for high capacity buses and taxis."
The minister also outlined benefits of the new policy to include: cheaper fares; enhanced passenger comfort and security; reliability of vehicle; and reduction of the effect of environmental pollution via emission poisonous fumes from vehicles.
He said the policy would lead to the identification of transport operators and companies through bio-metrics data capturing; promotion of healthy competition among operators; reduction of traffic congestion, road traffic accidents and transport related crimes and criminality.
Others are achievement of cost effectiveness through greater efficiency and better service delivery; building of new driving culture and attitudinal change; creation of wealth and employment opportunities for professional drivers and ensuring smoother movement of goods and services.