COVID-19: Interstate transport firm resumes operations without fare increase

Peace Mass Transit (PMT),
Peace Mass Transit (PMT)

Peace Mass Transit (PMT), one of the transportation companies in Nigeria, says it will resume interstate travels nationwide on July 1, with only 50 per cent carriage but without any extra cost to passengers.

This is following the relaxation of interstate travel restriction by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. According to the PTF, all interstate movements take effect only outside curfew hours from July 1.

In a statement signed by the management of PMT on Friday, it said its buses on interstate operations will load only 50 per cent capacity, without extra charges to commuters.

Sam Onyishi, the chairperson of PMT, said the decision will cause a loss of revenue but the company is concerned about providing critical services to kickstart the economy of families and the nation, rather than an immediate personal profit.

“The cost of extra measures we have instituted and loss of revenues that would come with reduction in carrying capacity, are significant, but I consider them part of the continuing sacrifice we make for the public good, well being and overall safety of compatriots.

“We have always maintained that PMT has never been just about being a business; it is my own ministry through which I touch lives,” Mr Onyishi said.

The company initially suspended operations in many states on March 29 following the record of new cases of coronavirus. The decision which was taken as part of the company’s effort to curtail the spread of coronavirus led to a loss of jobs for drivers and many of its workers.

With the relaxation of the interstate restriction, the management of the company has directed its staff to begin operations nationwide.

“The PMT management, in making the decision to resume, has also mandated its staff across the nation to adhere to, and strictly enforce the recommended international/national protocol on control of COVID-19.

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“This includes handwashing with soap and water at entry points, social distancing, use of face masks for the entire duration of journeys by drivers and passengers alike, and use of alcohol based hand sanitizers.

“Instructively, all PMT passenger vehicles are to carry only 50% of normal capacity, and at no extra cost to the passenger, according to the management reopening manual for staff,” the statement contained.

The company has also provided thermometers for the screening of passengers and staff and equipment for constant decontamination of depots and vehicles at points of departure and arrival.

All passengers were encouraged to comply with the protocols of the company at bus terminals and while on the trip.

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