The Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA) says there have been numerous benefits of electronic ticketing system for passengers, drivers and bus companies and it is an opportune time to launch a review of how it has worked and how it can be improved.
FBOA President Richard Lal said they expect to meet the new Minister responsible for Transport, Ro Filipe Tuisawau to discuss issues confronting the industry, including a review of the electronic ticketing system.
He said since the electronic ticketing system has been in place for the past five years, a review is overdue.
“Bus operators look forward to reviewing aspects of the electronic ticketing system to improve efficiency and ensure it is serving the needs of the travelling public, sustainable for bus companies and is fit-for-purpose.”
Lal said since the launch of the electronic ticketing system, an estimated 95 per cent of the travelling public have been using the system.
“While challenges remain to improve the system for users, there have been numerous benefits. For example during this period, attacks on and robbery of drivers have fallen because of the absence of cash in buses, making it safer for drivers and passengers.”
He said during the COVID-19 pandemic, electronic ticketing contributed to a safer travelling public because cash handling was eliminated.
“While bus operators acknowledge the e-ticketing system can be improved, we would like to urge the government and stakeholders not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
“Just as many people have accepted and widely use the pre-paid system for electricity (cash power), electronic ticketing is also a part of daily modern life.”
He added that bus operators stand ready to work with Government ministries and agencies, Vodafone Fiji and other stakeholders in a consultative and integrated manner for the benefit of all.