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E-Ticketing Facts

E-Ticketing Facts
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with Fiji Bus Operators Association members and e-Transport stakeholders during the press conference in Suva on October 2, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga
October 03
11:56 2017

Facts about eTicketing were spelt out in Suva yesterday.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Richard Lal, president of the Fiji Bus Operators Association, answered questions and clarified issues that have sparked public discussions since the introduction of e-Ticketing.

Mr Lal assured their members would urgently attend to issues raised.

It was also noted that 40 consoles had been tampered with and deliberately damaged at the start of its nationwide installation.

Problems highlighted and the facts  included:

 

 Claims of extra bus fare charged

Fact: The bus fares are being rounded off to the nearest full amount.

Fiji no longer has one cent or two cents therefore if one paid 68cents fare for Stage One before e-ticketing then the amount was rounded off to the nearest full amount which was 70cents.

However, through e-ticketing that person will only have to pay the actual amount now of 68cents.

It’s the same for the other Stage fares.

As posted online, people complained that they used to pay $1.10 cents and now they are paying $1.11 cents but what they forgot to notice perhaps was the difference.

Clearly, in the cash payment of busfare,  68cents was rounded up to 70 cents and the now charged $1.11 was rounded down to $1.10.

Stage Four fare before e-Ticketing was $1.90 when in fact the actual fare for Stage Four is $1.84 so now through e-ticketing passengers will be saving six cents.

Concerns that fares have been wrongly charged.

In one incident, the bus driver mistakenly charged Stage 22 fare for Stage two fares.

Fact: There was an immediate redress. The passenger had gotten off at Nausori after which the person made the complaint to the bus operator. The passenger then went to the office of the bus company whereby the individual received a full refund of the amount wrongly charged.

In future, passengers have been urged to immediately seek redress for such mistakes.

This means that passengers who have been wrongly charged of the bus fares can instantly contact the bus company and they will have to immediately arrange for the amount to be reloaded into the passengers e-card.

For this, the bus operators will have to go an extra mile but they will have to ensure that this is done.

Moreover, due to the last minute installments of the e-ticketing machines for some bus companies, some drivers have not undergone proper training with regards to the machines.

Hence, the Fiji Bus Operators and Vodafone upon discussions with the Government have agreed to add more training for  the drivers on the use of these machines to avoid any future mistakes as such.

Fiji Bus Operators Association members and e-Transport stakeholders during the press conference in Suva on October 2, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Fiji Bus Operators Association members and e-Transport stakeholders during the press conference in Suva on October 2, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

From today at least four to five Vodafone staff will be stationed at major bus stands to fix any teething issues faced in the execution of e-ticketing process.

For those who are yet to get the e-ticketing cards, disposable e-ticketing cards will be available for the passengers to buy on the buses.

Bus drivers not picking up passengers along the Suva –Nausori corridor

Yesterday there were complaints about buses along the Suva-Nausori corridor that  did not pick up passengers.

There were also complaints that bus companies failed to service their assigned routes on time.

Fact:

Bus drivers will be penalised for deliberately not picking up passengers or any other mischievous act against passengers.

The penalty ranges from $50 to $500.

If anyone finds any bus drivers driving off without letting in any passenger they may immediately complain to the bus company.

Government has instructed that phone numbers of the bus companies be put up on buses so that any complaints can be directed to them immediately.

School children not being let into the buses

Despite the statement by the Government that children without the e-Ticketing cards are to board the bus, drivers failed to adhere to that instruction yesterday.

Bus operators have been told again that no driver must do this and all drivers must allow the children to board the buses.

Complaints of e-ticketing machines not working in the buses

Dysfunctional e-ticketing machines are no excuses to not allowing passengers into the buses.

Vodafone Fiji has also confirmed  40 machines have been tampered with and damaged overnight after the installment of  the consoles were  done in the buses.

Eventually people are deliberately damaging these machines physically.

Fact:

If the e-ticketing console is not functioning, it is not the problem of the passenger.

The passenger can board the bus at ‘zero cost.’

Rumours were rife on social media that for example if there’s $1.40 in the e-card it was charged by the Vodafone.

This was also clarified yesterday

Fact:

Any left-over monetary value in the e-card will be redeemed. Even if one has five cents in their e-cards it will be redeemed.

600,000 cards have been issued so far, out of which 380,000 are for adults who will be paying full fare while the rest are divided amongst students, welfare recipients and senior citizens.

 

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there were people who wanted to sabotage the initiative because of their own financial gains. He said that eTicketing or eTransport would create a higher level of transparency and accountability within the economy.

He further highlighted that two or three bus companies had not even fitted their buses with consoles till last Saturday which meant their drivers were not fully trained. They had difficulties in implementing the cash to cashless travel.

The laws which had been implemented to allow the transition to cashless travel were in favour of the bus travelling public, the consumers.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum explained that in cases where machines were not working, they were to travel free of cost.

 

He has also instructed bus operators to provide immediate redress in cases where incorrect fare has been charged.

During The Speakers Debate last night Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Aseri Radrodro asked what would happen to those who had been overcharged with bus fares

He questioned whether a refund would be given.

 

Minister for Transport Parveen Bala said all bus operators were expected to be held responsible to provide refunds.

 

“There is no two way about it and no excuse for it. Bus companies have to provide overcharged passengers their refund,” said Mr Bala.

 

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedbackarishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

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1 Comment

  1. Alumeci Vatuwaliwali
    Alumeci Vatuwaliwali October 04, 01:02

    Why aren’t we given the choice whether to use cash or the use of E-ticketing ?? What is of our rights and freedom, does it matter?

    Reply to this comment

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