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Bus driver refuses $1

Mere Naleba
Friday, February 02, 2018

THE Fiji Bus Operators Association is calling on members of the public to refrain from offering cash to bus drivers.

Association president Richard Lal made the call yesterday after a Raiwaqa Bus Ltd driver was allegedly assaulted by a passenger after the driver refused to accept cash and insisted the passenger use his eTransport card or pay for a disposable card.

Bus driver Praveen Kumar, 44, said the passenger, who until now was still unknown to police, offered to give him $1 when he boarded the bus in Nakasi for Narere.

"I told him that I cannot accept cash because if I do, I can be fined and he kept insisting that I do. So I told him, if you can't use your card then you can buy the disposable card but it's $2. He started swearing at me," Mr Kumar claimed.

"I kept telling him not to swear at me, that's when he came up and punched me three times."

Mr Lal said the Government introduced the cashless system in order to protect bus drivers from such actions.

"This borders around the fact that a lot of travellers who use the eTransport card do not load enough money in their cards. It is illegal for drivers to take cash and passengers should understand that," Mr Lal said.

"The government policy is that it's a cashless system and drivers do not have a cash box to keep the money or change."

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said a report was lodged at the Nakasi Police Station and they were investigating the matter.

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