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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Jos-Abuja travellers get relief as Plateau Riders rebrands

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Plateau Express Service Limited, PESL established decades ago as a limited liability company to do profitable business, compete in the open market and generate revenue for Plateau State had been the butt of the joke for a very long time.

The company popularly called Plateau Riders rather than accrue the expected revenue had almost gone comatose, a home of rickety vehicles, rude staff, touts, and a very unkempt public structure.
The fortune of the company which was a cash cow in the late 80s dwindled so much that each day, it was a common sight seeing three to four of its vehicles, most of them being leased vehicles breaking down along the Jos-Abuja highway, exposing the drivers, passengers and their property to risk.
Citizens endured the chaotic situation as long as they could but switched their patronage immediately to viable options in organized transport businesses.
The dwindled customer base further worsened the lot of the PESL as the proceeds the drivers made in the few daily trips could not sustain them nor service the rickety vehicles.
To change the narrative and reposition the PESL to be innovative and entrepreneurial for improved revenue generation, the State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang with a year in office procured 22 buses comprising 20 new Toyota Sienna and two Coaster buses for the Jos-Abuja routes.
20 units of 14-seater Toyota Hiace buses refurbished and fully equipped with enhanced security features like; tracking devices with audio-enabled devices and launched into service.
Also, the PESL has opened up five revenue channels and registered them as subsidiaries to operate as a group of companies.
They are Plateau Riders Services Ltd, Tin City Metro Services Ltd (This is the transport palliative, a social intervention programme to alleviate the sufferings of commuters within the metropolis), Plateau Express Logistics Ltd, Plateau Express Learning Hub Ltd, and Plateau Express Automobile Ltd.
Commissioning the 20 new Toyota Sienna and two Coaster buses for the Jos-Abuja routes on Tuesday, Mutfwang, represented by his Deputy, Ngo Josephine Piyo said he is committed to repositioning the transport subsector to give comfort at an affordable rate to citizens.
The Governor also launched a mobile booking app that would enable commuters to book online and interface with the staff of PESL.
He noted that the procurement and commissioning of the buses were to improve the connectivity of the two cities for ease of business and other legitimate activities.
According to him, “These modern buses are equipped with state-of-the-art tracking systems, ensuring passenger safety, and providing real-time monitoring of their locations would provide reliable and comfortable transportation options for commuters traveling between Jos and Abuja, contributing to increased mobility and economic activities in both cities.
“The introduction of a mobile booking app represents a leap forward in embracing digital technology to enhance customer experience and streamline the booking process.
“This Rebirth Project reflects our government’s recognition of the importance of modernizing and improving transportation infrastructure in Plateau State… I implore citizens to seize this opportunity and make good use of these buses which are designed to enhance passenger safety and security.”
Also, the General Manager of PESL, Samuel Gwott explained that the buses are in categories that would give citizens affordable options saying, “We have the Gida Gida Express Coaster Bus that goes for just N5,000. This 25-seater bus will leave Abuja and Jos at noon every day.
“The second option is the air-conditioned Toyota Sienna that operates between 6 am and 4 pm for N9,000. We have well-trained drivers, our vehicles have security features and speed limiters, improved customer experience, and a mobile app.
“We have well-trained drivers, our vehicles have security features and speed limiters, improved customer experience, and a mobile App. We have stickers placed in the four corners of our buses with contact numbers and email addresses. A passenger can alert us during the journey and we use the feedback to appraise our staff performance.
“No more will our travelers spend six, seven, or eight hours moving from Jos to Abuja.  No more to the breakdown of vehicles. We have changed the Jos-Abuja route from the Gidan Waya axis to the Akwanga route. We are no more in the leagues of the Sharan, Vectra, and old vehicles.”
Gwott stressed that the repositioning of PESL was a testament that the Caleb Mutfwang-led administration is committed to revamping the transport sector and improving the transport network in the State.
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