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E-tickets to save $7m

Ropate Valemei
Friday, January 18, 2013

THE Fiji Bus Operation Association will save an estimated $7million annually from the e-ticketing system that was launched yesterday.

Association president Richard Lal said the cost was preliminary and could increase after their assessment.

"This is a total business management tool where the cash collection was initially part of it to improve the efficiency in collecting the cash," Mr Lal said.

With the introduction of the service, he said it came with the tools to manage the drivers, the vehicles and data collection that could be used for decision making.

"This would determine the future plan for the transport industry," Mr Lal said.

He said the public should look at the bigger picture on how much the industry was doing and what the benefits were.

He said school children under the government assistance scheme, and people with disabilities and the retirees would be assisted.

"There are 30,000 people Fiji-wide and should go over 100,000," Mr Lal, referring to those currently being assisted by the government.

He said a contract had been made with the government on the review of bus fares.

"We went into an agreement with the government where fares would not be reviewed for three years," Mr Lal said.

He said they had another year to run to fix their operational cost for three years to January next year. Land Transport Authority (LTA) chief executive officer Naisa Tuinaceva said more money would be driven back to the bus operators.

Mr Tuinaceva said there would be more transparent information provided on the receipt after payment such as the driver's name, bus number, date, time, fare cost, and the balance in the card.

"This is something new for consumers to take back if there is any further query which has some ground of defence. This is not in the present system," he said. Foneology director James Trusler said the machine, the first of its kind in the country, had a GPS detector that could keep track of the location of all buses in a company's fleet.

The machine also features a live stream CCTV, keeps track of the number of passengers, the tickets issued by the driver including the bus speed limits.

The machine, which is made in China, will have its card sold at any Vodafone and Foneology outlet around Fiji.





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