THE Consumer Council of Fiji has welcomed the government's intervention in making the much talked about bus smartcards affordable for every household in Fiji.
Council chief executive officer, Premila Kumar said the reduction in the purchase price of the cards from $10 to $2 was a relief for many consumers.
"The government's intervention is timely," she said.
"Most family budgets are stretched in the month of January when one has to plan the expenses for a new school year along with various payments due at the beginning of the year."
Mrs Kumar said the announcement would no doubt bring relief and joy to thousands of bus travellers.
"The decision will enable consumers, particularly those at the lower end of the socio-economic scale, to purchase the smartcard at ease for every member of the family," she said.
Mrs Kumar urged consumers to take full advantage of the offer which ends in March.
"Consumers must be mindful that they will benefit from e-ticketing by carrying less cash and having credit on the card means one's bus fare is already budgeted for," she said.
Mrs Kumar said a pre-paid service for public transportation was a worldwide practice and an effort was being made by the government to modernise Fiji's public transport.
Members of the public criticised the bus fare cards when it was initially announced that it would be bought for a minimum of $10.