NATION

Bus Operators To Politicians: Stop Politicising Eticketing

The Fiji Bus Operators As­sociation urges politicians to stop using the electronic ticketing platform as a political football and instead contribute positively to improving Fiji’s bus industry. The call was
18 May 2018 11:00
Bus Operators To  Politicians: Stop  Politicising Eticketing
Richard-Lal

The Fiji Bus Operators As­sociation urges politicians to stop using the electronic ticketing platform as a political football and instead contribute positively to improving Fiji’s bus industry.

The call was made by FBOA president Richard Lal after ques­tions and answers in Parliament about perceived problems with the eTransport system.

“Eight months have passed since electronic ticketing was intro­duced and the majority of the bus travelling public have been using it without any major hiccups. Us­ing the electronic cards has be­come a normal part of their daily routine,” Mr Lal said.

“There are always teething prob­lems whenever any major new technology is introduced and we have already identified these to Government and are working to­gether to address them.

“A loophole in the current eTick­eting platform is the sale of dis­posable cards on buses by driv­ers, increasing the risk of abuse and prompting some passengers to take advantage of this system because cash is involved. Dispos­able cards were originally meant for emergency purposes, not for regular use. Regular travellers must use the eTransport card that has been given to them free of any cost.

“We need disposable cards with­drawn from sale by drivers to immediately close this loophole. As the Attorney-General has said more eTransport recharg­ing points and vending machines for disposable cards are urgently needed. This will help alleviate the pressure on the travelling public, bus drivers and bus opera­tors.

“We also need ‘tap-on-tap-off’ to become operational soon. Requir­ing passengers to tap their card again when they disembark bus­es will ensure the correct fare is charged automatically and driver intervention is not required,” Mr Lal said.

Presently, passengers are only required to tap-on and driver in­tervention is required for the cor­rect fare.

“If these two issues are ad­dressed immediately, many of the problems people feel electronic ticketing is causing them will be resolved.

“Once these issues are resolved we will have a fully-fledged sys­tem that will benefit everyone.

“On the whole, people have dem­onstrated their readiness for tech­nology such as electronic ticket­ing just as they have embraced new technology such as prepaid electricity (CashPower) and mo­bile money.

“We should be proud that a coun­try like ours has made advances in bus commuting technology and work to iron out the remaining is­sues that continue the modernisa­tion of the bus industry.”

Source: Fiji Bus and Operators Association

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