Since its establishment in in 1984 as Abuja Bus Service (ABS) and later registered on 13th November, 1989 as Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited(AUMTCO), the company has undergone several changes that has seen it stand the test of time.
Tunde Akintola, the head of monitoring, marketing and communication of AUMTCO takes newsmen through the activities of the organization in recent time. He says AUMTCO maintains its objectives which are to give and deliver the safest and comfortable transportation system in FCT and environs.
He explains the coverage area as ‘The Central Area’ comprising of Wuse, Garki, Maitama and Asokoro, while the environs are satellite towns like ( the outskirts) Bwari, Gwagwalada, Karu, Mpape, Mararaba/Nyanya, Mabuchi, Madala, Zuba.
Full breakdown of the routes with designated bus stops is as follows;
CIRCULAR ROUTE (AREA 1 VIA AYA)
Area 1 – Area 3 – Apo Bridge – Police Barracks – Apo Round About – Abbatoir – C.B.N. Junction – Power House – Water Board – A.Y.A. – A.A. Rano – Aguiyi Ironsi Cantonment – State House Clinic – Gowon Barracks – Lungi Barracks – PW – Maitama/Mpape Junction – Tipper Garage – Ministers Hill – Nicon Junction – Bannex Plaza – Mabushi Junction – Berger – Wuye Junction – Stadium (Under Bridge) – Area 1.
CIRCULAR ROUTE (AREA 1 VIA BERGER)
Area 1 – Stadium (Under Bridge) – National Hospital (Under Bridge) – FRSC (Wuye) – Berger – Mabushi Junction – Bannex Junction – Nicon junction – Minister’s Hill – Tipper Garage – Mpape/Maitama Junction – PW – Lungi Barracks – Gowon Barracks – State House Clinic – Niger Barracks – Aguiyi Ironsi Cantonment – A.A. Rano – A.Y.A. – Water Board – Power House – Deeper Life Junction – Old CBN Junction – Abbatoir – Apo Round About – Police Barracks – Apo – Area 3 Junction – Area 1.
WUSE TO GWAGWALADA
Wuse – Berger – Finance/Wuye – Karmojiji – Kucugoro – Cika – Aleta – Lugbe (F.H.A.) – Lugbe (Police Sign Board) – New Lugbe – Ako – Gosa 1 – Gosa 2 – Gosa 3 – Kuje – Sauka – Airport Junction – Ido – UniAbuja Permanent Site – Giri – University Staff Quarters – Gwanko – S.D.P. – N.E.P.A. – Gwagwalada.
BWARI TO WUSE
Bwari – Deeper Life Junction – Kogo 1 – Kogo 2 – Camp – Pambara – Peyi – Ushafa – Tipper Garage – Usman Dam – Dutse Bokuma – Police Sign Board – Dutse Primary School – Sokale – Power Line – Dutse Alhaji – Dutse Express – Public Institute – Galadima – Science Technical – Gwarimpa – Setraco – Oando – Jahi – Katampe – Tipper Garage Before Corner – Ministers Hill – NICON Junction – Banex – Mabushi – Berger before U Turn – Berger Bus Stop – Wuse.
ZUBA TO WUSE
Zuba – DeiDei – Arab Junction – N.Y.S.C. – Kubwa Gate 2 – Kubwa Gate 1 (F.H.) –Dutse Junction – Galadima – Gwarimpa – Katampe – Tipper Garage – Ministers Hill – Nicon – Banex – Mabushi – Berger – Wuse.
NYANYA TO WUSE
Nyanyan – Kugbo Junction – Abacha Barracks – A.Y.A. – Power House – Federal Secretariat – N.N.P.C. – Sheraton Junction – Zone 4 Under Bridge – Wuse.
KUBWA TO WUSE
Kubwa – Public Service Institute – Galadima – Science Technical – Gwarimpa – Setraco – Oando – Jahi – Katampe – Tipper Garage Before Corner – Ministers Hill – NICON Junction – Banex – Mabushi – Berger before U Turn – Berger Bus Stop – Wuse.
WUSE TO LUGBE
Wuse – Berger – Finance/Wuye – Karmojiji – Kuchigoro – Cika – Aleta – Lugbe (F.H.A.) – Lugbe (Police Sign Board)
Akintola says the company deploys enough buses according to operation level on a daily basis. The also company deploys as early as 5.30am and close by 8.30pm.
The company had operated on prepaid and manual ticketing systems, as test-run in order to know the best and most effective in Abuja. It started with E- ticketing and it was stopped because of its constraints of amenities. Formerly the buses were operating full E-ticketing with POS in all their vehicles
At a time the company had to stop E-ticketing in order to compare with what is obtained world-over.
The company is now on full E-ticketing. The POS according to him is faster, economical and supplies time of receipt of money and location. And that the feedback is received on live show in the office. This helps the company to checkmate problems at the back – end.
The next stage of the E-ticketing the company will embark on, according to him, involves issuing cards to commuters who will then load it and use on any of the company’s vehicle and location.
The companies checking points has reduced. The reduction of check points, he explains, is in consideration of time factors. Before now the vehicle of the company has to stop four or five times for checkers that do surveillance check. Mobile checkers have been introduced.
When any of these mobile checkers enters a bus, they ride to some point and disembark, by which time they might have finished their checking. This method helps to save operation time and eliminates the waste of passengers’ time.
Some of the vehicles in the fleet of the company are as old as ten years and the youngest ones are four years old according to Mr. Akintola. He says the administration of the company is working on bringing in new vehicles.
Some of the challenges the company is facing is competition which is external. He posits that the company does not have conducive environment. The organization does not have terminals, bus stops. He noted that the transport system in FCT is not regulated. He gave example of Lagos state where LASTMA officials maintain orderliness on the roads. Another issue the company is facing is cost of operation.
He explains that small vehicles are supposed to be feeding operators in metropolis from the corridors. These other operates are supposed to be terminating at Nyanya, Madalla/Zuba, Gwagwalada for the AUMTCO to then move than the city. The arrangement has been neglected and those who are supposed to be terminating at the corridors now enter the city.
In as much as the company has no personal park, they check passengers boarding their vehicle with checkers. This is also done on their loads.
On the issue of maintenance of the company’s fleet, he says the company has a good maintenance culture. The company services its vehicles at the head office along Kubwa road by Katampe Junction. His words; “when you are doing this type of operation, you expect that between 70/80% of your fleet must be functional on a daily basis”.
He is of the opinion that good regulatory system in FCT will help to curb the menace of one chance. Those who perpetrate the evil, according to him are operators of unpainted vehicles who have not registered with any accredited agent.
He says that the company wants to put more vehicles on the road. And that the company has the opportunity to deploy up to 200 vehicles on FCT roads. But the fear is that the company may not be able to get enough passengers because of the activities of competition at their major terminals of Berger, Nyanya, Garki. The competitions at times fight their drivers and smash their vehicles. On this he says there must be full enforcement of the law establishing the transport system in FCT.
He eulogized the management qualities of the immediate past MD, Eddie Ajon who has been replaced by Abdulazeez Oniyangi.