Check before you tap are the two key words the Consumer Council of Fiji would like to put across to bus users with the e-ticketing system currently underway.
The Council is urging consumers to check the e-ticketing machine to be certain that they are charged the correct fare before they tap their cards.
Consumers have the responsibility to check first before they pay their bus fare to avoid being overcharged and ensure they are paying the correct amount. The console machine’s screen will display the fare a consumer is being charged before they tap their cards. The bus driver will key in the stage fare requested by the passenger and this fare is displayed on the machine facing the passenger before he/she taps his/her card.
For example, if a consumer intends to pay $0.70 for a trip, then $0.70 should appear on the screen after the bus driver has punched in the stage fare. If the console has a different fare on the screen, then the consumer must advice the driver to cancel and enter the correct stage fare.
Lately, a number of consumers have raised their concern for being overcharged. Consumers can avoid this by doing their part and checking first before tapping their card. It will also save the hassle of getting the refund.
The Council would like to encourage consumers to collect their receipts whether using cash or card. This is very important because the receipt is the evidence of travel and records what a consumer has paid.
The Council is further urging Land Transport Authority (LTA) to ensure drivers are properly trained and familiar with the system. Effective enforcement from the Authority for both drivers and passengers is necessary for successful implementation of e-ticketing.
If the machines are faulty and do not appear to be in proper working conditions, the bus operators must provide an alternative bus to ensure passengers reach their respective destinations in a timely manner. LTA needs to ensure that bus companies have proper machines in their buses to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to consumers.