Monday, March 23, 2020 8:56 am
…To be strictly enforced for compliance
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Government through the Ministry of Transport has issued strict guidelines for operations of commuter buses and taxis with the aim of preventing a possible outbreak and spread of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The guidelines were arrived at the end of a joint meeting between the Ministry of Transport and officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other stakeholders in the Transport Sector in Rivers State.
The communiqué signed by the state Commissioner for Transport, Sir. Sam Soni Ejekwu, partly reads thus: “All Taxis shall admit or take a total of 3 passengers namely one person in the front seat and Two persons at the passenger sides immediately behind the front seats.
“ It is an offence to condone, connive or be an overloaded passenger. A person is said to be overloaded if found seated next to the door either in the front section of the vehicle or on the door side for the passenger immediately behind the front seats.
“All buses shall admit or convey a total of : 5 passengers for Suzuki buses, 10 passengers for 14/18 Seater Buses. One passenger in the front seat and Three passengers per seat row subsequently, 2 passengers at the back for Keke( Tricycle) just the rider in the front seat and two passengers at the back
“It is an offence to condone, connive or be an overloaded passenger. A person is said to be overloaded if found seated next to the door either in the front section of the vehicle or on the door side for the passenger immediately behind the front seats.
“Further, effective from the 23rd of March, 2020, at all Bus Stops and Stations, all commuters and passengers shall maintain regular Queues and orderly lines to avoid needless rough contacts and struggles leading to altercations and spitting or droplets.
“All Taxis and Buses shall keep and restock their vehicles with wipes, tissues and other disposal items for use by passengers to wipe down the car doors and other handles.
“These directives shall be supervised, coordinated and enforced by the Road Marshalls of the Ministry of Transport, Rivers State and NURTW officials.
“Members of the public and the Transport operators are enjoined to give the State Government their fullest support at this challenging moment of our collective existence.