Fiji's Land Transport Authority has raised extreme concern over an uncontrolled abuse of the school bus fare voucher system.
The Authority recently received reports and complains from bus operators, bus drivers and members of the public that vouchers are being sold and traded.
“This is absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable people have stooped low to abuse the assistance given by Government to assist the needy and the less fortunate," LTA’s chief executive Naisa Tuinaceva said in a statement.
"We believe that there is a ring of players which may include some bus drivers and members of the public and what we are seeing at the moment is just the tip of the ice berg.”
He also added that it is believed that people take advantage of certain loop holes in the system for their personal gain and have evidence of vouchers being photocopied and circulated.
LTA’s spokesperson, Alfred Wiliame said LTA is the coordinating point for the e-ticketing project.
“LTA doesn’t administer the issuance of the vouchers however, problems were highlighted to the authority are trying to fine tune the e-ticketing system to be more customer friendly,” Wiliame said.
Concerns raised were in relation to vouchers that had no serial numbers, that were photocopied, no proper number written and that vouchers received that were issued way back 2010.
The LTA is insisting to all bus operators must ensure that these processors should be controlled and monitored so that there is no abused.
“More vigilant effort and commitment should be seen to minimize the abused system or even stop it from escalating,” said Tuinaceva.
So far LTA has 6 vouchers that have been photocopied.
The LTA will be working closely with the Ministry of Education, the bus operators and the Ministry of Transport to see how this matter could be fixed.
By Indrani Krishna