Over 23,500 residents of Edo State have benefited from the free transport service of the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in the first 24 hours of the commencement of the scheme, aimed at cushioning the effect of the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government on the people of the State.
The governor had yesterday flagged off the free bus service for passengers on all routes operated by the state-owned Edo City Transport Limited (ECTS), with the pledge that his government will sustain efforts to reduce the hardship inflicted on the people by the subsidy removal, ensuring improved wellbeing and welfare for the people.
The free transport scheme, which is for initial two months, operates between 6am and 7pm daily, covering all ECTS operational routes, both intra-city and inter-city routes, including Auchi – Igarra – Ibillo–Ososo; Uzebba–Ikhin – Otuo, and Abudu-Ubiaja, Abudu-Urhonigbe and Ewohirin to Ewatto.
The intra-city routes are Ramat–Kingsquare; New Benin–Kingsquare; Kingsquare – Ekenwan Road; Kingsquare–Airport Road; Kingsquare–Sapele Road and Kingsquare – Adesuwa, Kingsquare–Ogida; New Benin – Upper Mission; Kingsquare–Ugbowo; Kingsquare–Agbor Road; Kingsquare–Upper Sokponba; New Benin – Ugbowo and New Benin–Aduwawa.
Briefing journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Edo State Transport Authority, Edugie Agbonlahor, said the state-owned transport company has witnessed a surge in commuters as a result of the free bus service, noting that about 23,652 passengers have benefitted from the service in the last 24 hours.
According to her, “We are glad with the positive impact being made through the free bus service of the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal on Edo people. We have continued to witness a surge in passengers for our inter-city and intra-city routes, recording a total of 23, 652 passengers, including 23,143 intra-city and 509 inter-city commuters in the first 24 hours after the flag off of the scheme.
“We know that these numbers will continue to skyrocket following the success recorded as we intensify efforts to expand the programme after the initial two-month period.”
She added, “You can see the joy on the faces of the people who are being relieved of the burden of high cost of transportation as a result of the rise in the cost of petrol occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government. We are grateful to the Governor for always prioritising the welfare of the people, putting them at the forefront of every of his government’s programmes and policies.”