LTA Firm On E-Card Fine

Land Transport Authority board chairperson Vijay Maharaj says they will not bow down to political pressure. “We will not resign,” he said last night, defending their move to fine 13
23 Nov 2017 11:38
LTA Firm On  E-Card Fine
Vijay Maharaj.

Land Transport Authority board chairperson Vijay Maharaj says they will not bow down to political pressure.

“We will not resign,” he said last night, defending their move to fine 13 people $50 each for breaching e-Card rules.

Mr Maharaj was responding to calls by the Opposition spokesperson on Transport, SODELPA Member of Parliament Aseri Radrodro, for the removal of the LTA board over the fines, claiming innocent people were being affected.

Those fined were found without e-ticketing receipts and had not paid their bus fare.

The offenders were issued traffic infringement notices which gave them 30 days to pay the fine or be taken to court.

Since the introduction of e-Cards, there have been reports of some passengers trying to abuse the system. The LTA has been vigilant in policing the e-ticketing process, resulting in the 13 cases.

Mr Radrodro said “It is time to sack the Land Transport Board chairman Vijay Maharaj and his Board.

“This is the umpteenth time the LTA Board has made ridiculous laws that are affecting the innocent general public transport travelling population without proper awareness.”

He called on the Government to review and change the board of the LTA as soon as possible to avoid what he called “illogical and irresponsible policy implementation.”

Mr Maharaj said they had a job to do in improving the services.

“We stand by our actions to crack down on people who attempt to undermine the e-ticketing system. We will not allow anyone to sabotage the e-ticketing system or the LTA.

“The e-ticketing system is the way forward for our bus services. Some of these problems that we are currently dealing with in the LTA had existed for a long time including the period when Mr Radrodro was the (acting) LTA chief executive officer. He should be the last one to criticise or attack us.

“Mr Radrodro must appreciate

that the Authority is carrying out its regulatory functions. The comments from Mr Radrodro are calling for the LTA Board to deviate from and negate its defined statutory and regulatory roles.

“If such views of Mr Radrodro were allowed to translate into practice, then I can confidently say that this is the level the current LTA Board and its members are trying to move away from and avoid these old habits that were common past practice,” Mr Maharaj said.

He said the LTA had already given a flexibility period of three months from the date of implementation of e-ticketing legislation.

“The e-ticketing has been implemented via Electronic Fare Ticketing (Omnibus) Act. Also under the Act and its Electronic Fare Ticketing (Omnibus) Regulations, LTA has a mandatory statutory obligation as a statutory authority to ensure a satisfactory compliance level with these laws.

“If the e-ticketing machines are working in buses and passengers can use their e-ticketing cards, then it’s unfair on them given that some bus passengers or commuters are not complying with the e-ticketing laws.

“The transport sector is making a progress in Fiji for the bus industry and the efforts to modernize its services, starting from e-ticketing as a means from cash to cash-less system, but it’s sad that Mr Radrodro being previously involved in transport industry with LTA at a senior position does not share a similar vision for the future betterment of all Fijians,” Mr Maharaj said.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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