AS of today, members of the travelling public will no longer have to pay $10 to obtain the new electronic-ticketing bus cards.
The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday confirmed the new cards would now cost only $2. He said the significant reduction was successful through agreements with Vodafone Fiji and the cards would cost $2 until the end of March and $10 thereafter.
"We have recognised the fact that $10 per card is perhaps a bit too much for many of the households with four or five people from one household all catching separate buses," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
However, customers will still have to pay a minimum of $5 to top up their e-ticketing cards from authorised agents. They will also be able to top up their cards using Vodafone's M-PAiSA. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said from April the card would go up to $10.
He said those who had bought a card for $10 would have their $8 refunded or credited as bus fare to the card.
He also revealed that for every card purchased, government would subsidise Vodafone with $1.
"In addition, from today until the end of March replacement cards would also cost $2," he said.
The A-G also revealed that the 100,000 school students who received subsidised bus fares would not have to pay the $2 either.
This also applies to the 30,000 senior citizens and people living with disabilities.
Vodafone Fiji chief executive officer, Aslam Khan said the total cost to them was almost $8 million. Vodafone Fiji anticipates more than 500,000 people will purchase the new e-ticketing cards.
* Editorial Comment: PAGE 8