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Disposable card loophole must be addressed: FBOA

February 25, 2018 7:20 pm

The Fiji Bus Operators Association has raised concerns there’s a growing trend of abuse of disposable cards by some passengers.

President, Richard Lal, says some passengers are taking advantage of the disposable card regulation by expecting drivers to have change when they present high denomination notes for low denomination cards.

The Association’s statement comes following demands by the Consumer Council saying that bus drivers must carry disposable electronic ticketing cards, citing the Electronic Fare Ticketing Regulations 2017.

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The regulation makes it compulsory for bus operators to provide disposable cards for sale on buses, failing which a spot fine of $1000 is imposed on both the bus operator and the driver.

Lal, says with electronic ticketing supposedly creating a cashless system, drivers are no longer handling cash – except through the loophole created by the disposable card requirement.

He says drivers often do not have enough cash and when they are unable to provide change, passengers expect to travel free.

Lal argues the electronic ticketing is now into its fifth month and the public has become accustomed to topping up their e-cards.

The Association is of the view that bus drivers should not be burdened with the requirement to carry disposable cards or cash for change.

He says when disposable cards were designed, it was intended for tourists and people living in the outer islands who visit the main islands.

It was not meant for regular passengers as they are expected to travel using their registered e-cards.

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