New Issues with E- Ticketing

05/10/2017 09:26

It is rather clear that the drivers are trying to derail the e- ticketing system made compulsory from 1 October.

The Council received complaints that drivers were demanding cash from consumers if their eTransport cards were inoperative or denying passengers’ payment for 3 adult fares from one eTransport card. 

The primary purpose of introducing the eTransport Cards is to eliminate cash handling. We also noted that when the cash system was in place drivers had abused the rounding off of fares. Some drivers were rounding the Stage 2 fare of $1.11 up to $1.15 instead of rounding it down to $1.10. With this system passengers get to pay the exact amount of $0.68 and $1.11 rather than the rounded figures.

Secondly, drivers must be aware of the fact that a single card can be used to pay for multiple fares in the same range. For instance an adult e-Transport card can be used to pay fare for more than 1 adult. 

The Fiji Bus Operators Association should ensure that all its members are briefed on the Omnibus Electronic Fare Ticketing Act 2014 and its penalties for non-compliance as it seems that a handful of operators are not following the set rules.

It is worth noting that for years the bus companies have been calling for increase in bus fare claiming that costs are spiraling while revenue is dropping. Hence, E-ticketing will ensure better revenue recording as compared to the unreliable cash system. Pilferage and the associated problems with it has been an ongoing issue for decades.

The Council has for long lobbied and has always maintained a supportive stance on the e-ticketing system simply because it will not only benefit the bus industry, but the bus commuters as well.

Every effort must be made by all stakeholders to make the system work without any financial loss to consumers. The Council encourages consumers to lodge their complaints on toll-free number 155 for redress.