The free bus ride introduced by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government to cushion the impact of the fuel subsidy removal on the people of Edo State has continued to record success, with over 2.3 million persons benefiting from the scheme in the first three months.
The free transport service which covers all intra and intercity routes operated by the State-owned Edo City Transport Services (ECTS) was introduced in September 2023 to run for an initial two months’ period but was extended by three months till February 2024, in furtherance of the government’s commitment to the welfare of Edo people.
In a statement, the Managing Director of Edo State Transport Authority (ESTA), Mrs. Edugie Agbonlahor, said 50,664 passengers benefitted from the intercity service, while 2,263,360 passengers in the State benefited from the intra-city free service.
According to her, “We are glad about the impact of the free bus scheme implemented by the Edo City Transport Services (ECTS) to cushion the effect of the Federal Government’s fuel subsidy removal policy on the people of Edo State as over 2.3 million Edo residents have benefited from the scheme in three months.
“The free service was launched by Governor Godwin Obaseki on September 11, 2023, for all passengers on all intercity and intracity routes operated by the ECTS for a period of two months before it was extended to February 2024 to continually ease the pressure and transport burden on the people, amid the current economic realities, and we are excited with the positive feedback we have received from thousands of households who have benefited from the scheme over this period.
“The beneficiaries include 50,664 passengers who gained from the intercity free service and 2,263,360 passengers who benefited from the intra-city service.”
She further urged Edo people to take advantage of the free bus service scheme especially during the yuletide to reduce the transport burden, reassuring the government’s commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of Edo citizens.
The service covers intra-city and intercity routes across the State’s three senatorial districts. The intercity routes include Auchi – Igalla – 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.