The many hiccups in the use of paper tickets on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Bus Franchise Scheme (BFS) will be eliminated with the soon-to-be-deployed e-ticketing system, Dr. Dayo Mobereola, Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) has assured. The pilot scheme commenced on Monday 6th June 2011.
Speaking at a stakeholder meeting on the implementation of the pilot phase of the e-ticketing system, Dr. Mobereola said the e-ticketing system was an initiative borne out of the need to further enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and convenience of the BRT and BFS operations.
According to him, the e-ticketing system would bring about a better, secure and more efficient ticketing system that would help tackle the daily problems of fraud associated with the existing paper ticketing system, and provide an opportunity for rebate and discounting for users.
He also noted that LAMATA was not unaware of the teething challenges that may come with the implementation of the new system adding that adequate plans have been made to tackle these challenges as they come.
Addressing the stakeholders which included commuters, dealers, management of the sponsoring organisations – Skye Bank, Eco Bank; staff and management of E-Purse, operators of BRT and BFS and the media, Dr. Mobereola explained that the e-ticketing platform was scalable disclosing that it would be extended to rail services when the rail project is completed
Explaining the concept of e-ticketing, Amiegbebhor said the system is a global fare payment technology embraced by all significant transport organisation and bus operating company in the developed countries of the world including BRT implementing nations such as Transmilenio in Bogota, Columbia; Curitiba in Brazil; and Ahmadabad in India. He said the application of the e-ticketing system has been proven to be a success in these countries.
Speaking further, he said the new system will various advantages to commuters, operators and all other stakeholders involved.
For the commuters, the new ticketing system would shortened transaction times at the various terminal and bus-stops, reduce cash handling for commuters, create opportunity for discounted bus fares, provide avenue for transport budget for regular users and create a feel for automated fare system.
For the operators, the system would reduce cash pilferage, checkmate ticket recycling and fake ticket, reduce the volume of paper tickets on hands by bus officer, and create operational decorum during boarding and alighting.
Under the pilot implementation phase, 30 BRT and 10 BRF buses have been installed with the e-ticketing validators while 150 test personnel across regular users of both schemes have been selected through random sampling. The selected test personnel spread across civil servants, students, market women, media and monitoring team of LAMATA among others.
To further broaden the pilot scheme, selected commuters were also given empty smart cards and questionnaires to participate in the implementation.
Dr. Amiegbebhor further explained what that they are expected to do: load their card at the various terminal and shelters with designated vendor with hand held machines; check out for buses with e-ticketing pilot test stickers for boarding, tap in while boarding and tap out as soon as the journey is completed, fill the respective questionnaires and revert to the designated LAMATA officers at the various terminal/ bus stops for collation. The submitted questionnaire is expected to be reviewed and analysed weekly by LAMATA and E-Purse for system updating.