The Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo stated at a meeting with its transport franchisees yesterday that effective Monday, 4th May 2020, high capacity passenger buses will only carry 21 passengers instead of 70 usually loaded in the buses pre-COVID19 era.

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Other guidelines introduced are that standing would be suspended and the air-conditioning system must not be used.

At the meeting attended by Managing Director, Primero Transport Services Limited, operator of the Ikorodu-TBS Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, Mr. Fola Tinubu and Managing Director, Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL), one of the operators of the Lagos Bus Reform Initiative, Mr. Idowu Oguntona.

Engr. Akinajo stated that operators must ensure that passengers wear a face mask at all times, sanitise with alcohol-based sanitizer or wash their hands with soap under running water before and after each trip.

She explained that operators were expected to disinfect their vehicles, and depots regularly and continuously in collaboration/supervision of the Ministry of The Environment and Water Resources in order to ensure standards and safety of the disinfectant being used.

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“Transport operators are also expected to have at the entrance of their respective terminals hand washing equipment with running water and alcohol-based sanitizers while they are also expected to provide alcohol-based sanitizers in their vehicles for drivers, inspectors and passengers;

“Bus terminals and bus stops must not be overcrowded with passengers and commercial activities at any point in time. Social distancing is required for passengers queuing to board buses. NCDC recommends that at least two-metre distance is required between people,” she stated.

Specifically, she said, “All BRT and LBSL buses (High Capacity) must not carry more than 21 passengers and standing is suspended; Air Conditioning System must be switched off; the Operators must have temperature readers to test each passenger before boarding the bus; operators (i.e Commuters, Drivers and Inspectors etc) are mandated to always wear personal protective equipment (i.e face masks and hand gloves) while in transit and dispose of non-reusable ones appropriately and operators must collaborate with LAWMA for prompt waste disposal at their respective terminals and bus stops.”

Mrs. Akinajo said passengers may report any operator that failed to comply with the guidelines to the monitoring officer at sight or write to LAMATA stating the vehicle registration number, its unique code, time of incident and location.