The Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited (AUMTCO) on Monday said it had installed anti-explosive devices in more than 100 of its High Capacity Buses plying various routes around the territory.
Mr Tunde Akintola, Head, Marketing and Communications of the company, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that all the 100 buses recently launched had the device.
Akintola said that AUMTCO carried out the installation in conjunction with the FCT Administration’s Security Department.
Aside all the 100 newly acquired buses, Akintola said that the device was also installed in some of the old ones to detect explosives or metals.
According to him, the installations are being done in batches, adding that “the company will soon complete the installations in all the 400 buses. We are doing the installations on both the old and the new ones”.
He said arrangements had been concluded by the company to instal the devices in all the major loading parks of AUMTCO, to avert further terror attacks in the territory.
“We are also introducing electronic security devices in all our major loading points such as Nyanya, Zuba, Area 3, Gwagwalada, Kubwa, Lugbe among others.”
However, he said that out of the 100 high capacity buses launched recently, 50 had begun operation, while the remaining buses were awaiting registration.
He said the company, which had 25 routes of operations, had spread the new buses according to the routes, adding that it would help to augment the existing ones.
“We have assigned 20 buses to Nyanya; 20 to Zuba; five to Bwari; five to Gwagwalada; 10 to Lugbe; 10 to Kubwa; 15 to Life-Camp and 15 for the city centre,” he said.
Akintola said the company had zero tolerance for reckless driving and was ready to sanction any of its drivers found violating traffic rules and drunk while driving.
He said the company would soon employ more drivers, adding that the new 100 buses would be assigned to the company’s old drivers for better management.
However, he said the fares for the new buses would be different from the old ones because they would run on air conditioners.
“A little premium will be added on the new buses because the air-conditioners will be fully on at all time for commuters.
“During the peak period, the new buses are designed to carry 45 people on the seats and 45 standing.”
He said funding had been the challenge of the company, adding that the fares being charged by AUMTCO were highly subsidised for commuters.
“What we are charging is highly subsidised fares; the lowest fare is N50 and the highest is N150; that is why people prefer to enter our buses.
“In many cases the drivers make less than what is expected by the company; and from the money we fuel the buses, maintain them, coupled with other expenses and we are not on budget.