Politicians urged to stop using e-ticketing as a political football

Swasth Deo Sharma of Island Buses Limited with an e-transport card. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

POLITICIANS have been urged to stop using the electronic ticketing platform as a political football.
Fiji Bus Operators Association president Richard Lal made this comment in a statement issued today, in response to questions and answers among MPs in Parliament about perceived problems with the e-transport system.
Mr Lal, however, encouraged the politicians to contribute positively to improving Fiji’s bus industry.
“Eight months have passed since electronic ticketing was introduced and the majority of the bus travelling public has been using it without any major hiccups. Using the electronic cards has become a normal part of their daily routine,” Mr Lal said.
He said there were always teething problems whenever any major new technology was introduced and they had already identified those to the Government and were working together to address them.
He added people had demonstrated their readiness for technology such as electronic ticketing just as they had embraced new technology such as prepaid electricity (CashPower) and mobile money.
“We should be proud that a country like ours has made advances in bus commuting technology and work to iron out the remaining issues that continue the modernisation of the bus industry.”
In Parliament yesterday, Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said bus companies needed to remunerate bus drivers’ profit through their salaries so there was no room for them to steal.
He had made this comment in response to Opposition MP Prem Singh who had asked Parliament whether the Government intended to amend the Omnibus Electronic Fare Ticketing Act 2014 to remove heavy fines imposed on bus drivers who allowed passengers without eTransport cards.

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