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Fiji Time: 10:49 AM on Friday 25 April

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E-ticketing setback

Dawn Gibson
Saturday, January 26, 2013

MACHINES being used for the new electronic-ticketing bus card initiative by the government and Vodafone Fiji have proved worrisome for certain members of the public.

This after this newspaper received complaints about faulty machines which read "error" when bus drivers swiped the cards through it.

One complaint came from a woman and another from a student — both asked not to be named.

The student said that upon giving the card to the bus driver yesterday morning, the machine read "error" numerous times when the card was run through it.

"Luckily I had some cash on me and was able to pay for my bus fare because the machine wasn't reading my card," the student reported.

The woman reiterated the student's sentiments saying there were other people on the bus who had experienced the same thing when trying to swipe their cards.

Vodafone Fiji and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) however, have reassured the public that these hiccups are part of the installation process involved with launching a new idea

"We're just one week into this initiative and there are many levels where there can be issues — sometimes the drivers are not well informed about how the machines work but also sometimes passengers don't understand that cards need to be topped up before they can go through the machines," revealed Vodafone Fiji's head of corporate affairs Shailendra Prasad.

He added Vodafone Fiji was more than happy to take on feedbacks from the public given that these procedures were relatively new.

"There are many contributing factors to making this effort work," he concluded.

LTA's media officer Alfred Wiliame said they were still putting effort into educating bus drivers around the country on how the machines work.

"There will be problems, this is the first phase and we are pleading with the public to try and bring the problems to us so we can solve them now.

"We are on the road going to different parts of the country and informing drivers about the cards and the machines and how they can address such problems," Mr Wiliame confirmed.

E-ticketing bus cards are expected to roll out in the Western Division on February 10 and in the Northern Division on February 20.