CAPTION: Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. File Photo.
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has assured all Fijians who have already bought Vodafone e-ticketing cards that they will not be affected by the decision made earlier in the week to allow new service providers into the e-ticketing market.
The Attorney-General said despite any suggestions to the contrary, Vodafone e-ticketing cards will work on any new e-ticketing solution that comes into place after the three month deadline.
“One of the non-negotiable points of the agreement reached earlier in the week is the requirement that there be 100% inter-operability between e-ticketing systems, so cards that have already been purchased will work on any new system that is put in place,” he said.
“Fijians have the option to cash-in their credit as well as to cash in their Vodafone cards if they choose, but there is no need to do so in terms of worry about compatibility with other systems that might enter the market in the future,” he added.
This comes after an agreement was reached on Tuesday to allow new service providers into the e-ticketing market. After a meeting with the Attorney-General, the Land Transport Authority (LTA), and representatives of the Fiji Bus Operators Association (FBOA), Vodafone and Foneology voluntarily agreed to nullify their contracts with those bus operators that wanted to explore other service options.
The Attorney-General said that currently the Vodafone/Foneology e-ticketing solution is the only one in place. “However, once the necessary amendments have been made to the e-ticketing regulations, other service providers who meet the necessary requirements will have the opportunity to enter the market,” he said.
“We must acknowledge the work that Vodafone and Foneology have done to pioneer e-ticketing in Fiji, but we must also acknowledge the importance of discouraging anti-competitive behavior to make sure the market is free and open,” he continued.
The requirements for providers of e-ticketing services will be set out in an amendment of the Land Transport (Omnibus Electric Fare Ticketing) Regulations, which is expected early next week.
After the new regulations are in place, interested service providers who meet the standards will be allowed into the market. All buses in Fiji must have an e-ticketing solution by the end of the three month period.