FCT begins repositioning of intra-city transportation with innovative technology

Director of Federal Capital Territory’s ‘Transport for Abuja’ project, Dr. Yakubu Terry, has said the  Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom  Wike, has begun a repositioning of the FCT’s intra-city transport services for residents with the introduction of fifteen air-conditioned 60-seater buses luxury buses fitted with free wi-fi in Abuja to meet the transportation needs of the people under President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. 

Speaking during the commissioning of the initial batch of fifteen buses that will ply various parts of the capital city under a public/private partnership (PPP) programme, Dr. Terry said under the FCT Minister, renewed hope is manifesting for urban mass transit, adding that as Director of Transport for the FCT, he and members of his team feel privileged to be part of the ‘transformative journey to redefine urban mobility in Abuja’.

During a brief ceremony at the Eagles Square in Abuja on Tuesday, both Dr. Yakubu Terry and the FCT’s Mandate Secretary for Transportation, Mr. Uboku Nyah emphasized that with the ‘Transport For All’ (TFA) project, the FCT has decisively commenced the availability of transportation that is secure, convenient and affordable for all Nigerians across various locations in the city, with indications that more private sector initiatives can be accommodated.

“Our vision for Transport for Abuja is not just about buses and routes, it’s a commitment to building a connected, sustainable, and efficient transportation system that will elevate the quality of life for every resident; we envision a city where commuting is seamless, where people can rely on a modern and reliable transit system, and where transportation becomes a facilitator of progress.

“To turn this vision into reality, ‘Transport for Abuja’ has devised a strategic plan that focuses on key city areas and their environs and by connecting the dots efficiently, we aim to create a web of convenience that threads through the fabric of Abuja; our strategy is not just about the number of buses on the road, it’s about creating a comprehensive and accessible network that serves the diverse needs of our community. 

“We will prioritize lucrative routes and leverage technology to optimize routes, reduce wait times, and enhance the overall commuting experience; as we strive for efficiency, a crucial aspect of our strategy is the introduction of cutting-edge digital payment offerings,” he said.

According to Dr Yakubu Terry, passengers’ convenience is paramount and the introduction of various digital payment methods and user-friendly mobile apps, will ensure that passengers can effortlessly purchase tickets and thereby eliminate the need for physical cash, reduce transaction time and speed up the boarding process with seamless and efficient experience for valued riders.

He further emphasized that operational efficiency, through the adoption of digital payments will ensure that revenue collection becomes streamlined with an automated ticketing system that reduces manual efforts and minimizes errors, in addition to providing real-time data insights into passenger trends towards optimizing routes.

“Our digital payment offerings are not just about transactions; they are a gateway to enhanced customer engagement and loyalty; we will introduce loyalty programs and discounts for digital payment users, and we are committed to maintaining open lines of communication through digital channels for updates, promotions, and feedback.

“Digital transactions bring with them financial transparency as clear records provide a robust foundation for auditing processes, and transparent fare structures build trust among our passengers; the risk of revenue leakage or mishandling of cash transactions is being  significantly reduced,” Dr. Yakubu Terry added, noting that additional revenue streams through digital platforms, such as onboard advertising and white-labeling technology will not only ensure financial sustainability but also keep the project at the forefront of technological advancement in the transportation sector.

He further noted calls for government to provide transportation subsidies as well as the need for government to consider making the transportation sector more appealing to private Investors .through the provision of proper infrastructure, including dedicated bus lines, well-equipped bus stops, modern terminals, and shelters which can all contribute towards service efficiency and the overall urban development of Abuja.

Aside from the free onboard wi-fi and air-conditioning for passengers, the new FCT buses are equipped with live surveillance features for passenger safety.

According to an official, Mr. Roy Kweku who conducted government officials, including Hon Zacharia Nyampa and other members of the House of Representatives on a short intra-city tour, the goal of TFA is to use innovative methods and ICT towards transforming urban transportation experience for Nigerians with a vision for more efficient, highly reliable, accessible and secure transportation system that can help towards improving citizens’ lives.