Primero Transport Services Limited, operator of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Lagos, says it will only be carrying 20 commuters with face masks per bus as from Monday to contain further spread of COVID-19.
The Managing Director of the firm, Mr Fola Tinubu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday that the 21st person onboard would be the driver.
Tinubu, however, said that the company would not issue short-distance tickets as from Monday, saying short-distance commuters that wished to use the service must be ready to pay for the longest distance tickets on their route.
The BRT boss explained that the firm had scrapped N100 and N150 tickets for short distances in the main time and asked commuters to be ready to pay for the N200, N250 or 300 tickets, depending on their routes.
“We are going to carry only 20 passengers per bus, the 21st person on bus will be the driver starting from Monday.
“We will space them zigzagly; we will show them how to sit. We don’t want anybody to sit next to each other. There will be no air conditioner; we are going to open the windows to allow enough ventilation.
“We will only be doing long distance; we will only be selling N200, N250 and N300 tickets. We will not be doing short distance of N100 or N150 stuff. So, anybody that wants to do short distance will have to pay for the long distance.
“We want to concentrate with the buses on the long distance since we can only carry 20 people. We will not sell ticket for short distance at all,” he told NAN.
According to him, all the passengers must wear masks and sanitise their hands before they will be allowed to board buses.
He said while the firm would provide alcohol-based hand sanitisers before the trip and after the trip, passengers should provide the mask by themselves.
Tinubu said that the firm would adhere strictly to the guidelines by the Lagos State Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA), its regulator.
“We know it will be a tough time for the firm but it’s for everybody’s safety,” the BRT boss added.
He said that the firm would deploy enough sanitisers to bus stations across the state, urging passengers to cooperate with its staff assigned to ensure adherence to precautionary measures.
On how to ensure social distancing on queues, Tinubu said that the firm would do everything possible to ensure social distancing.
He, however, said that ensuring social distancing on queues might seem tough to achieve in reality.
“That is going to be tough, I don’t know but we are still figuring that out because we don’t know how people are going to show up.
“However, the good thing is that we have more buses now that we can deploy. We have used this opportunity of lockdown to fix some of our buses that were faulty,” he said.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on April 27 announced a “gradual easing” of COVID-19 lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, from May 4, after a four-week lockdown of the areas to contain the spread of COVID-19.
By Monday, residents of Lagos and Abuja would have been on lockdown to contain spread of the global pandemic for five weeks.