Lagos state government adopts e-ticketing for BRT. With the new system, commuters will pay according to distance covered as against the former across-the-board fare payment
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Sep. 30, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
IN its bid to restructure the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, and improve transportation system in the state, the Lagos State government has introduced electronic process into its ticketing system. Some Lagos residents have commended the state government for bring succour to the commuters, especially those that make use of the BRT. Some of them, who spoke to Realnews, said that the new ticketing system would save passengers the problems associated with collecting their balance. Angela Onwuegbuezie, a civil servant, said that e-ticketing would allow commuters travelling on short journeys to pay lower fares, as against paying the same as those on going farther away. “I always feel bad paying N120 for a journey from CMS to Onipanu with someone going as far as Mile 12,” she said.
Tony Ekpeti, a civil servant, commended the new system, and noted that it would help to reduce the harassment of ticket vendors for ‘change’ at various bus stops. “On many occasions, I had to leave my balance with them because they were always not ready to give me,” he said. Onuwa Eke, a banker, said with the benefits of e-ticketing, the government and the operators of the bus should ensure the cards were available for efficiency. However, Eke has her fears that very soon, the system might collapse, adding that many of the buses were not functioning properly.
During the launch of the e-ticketing system at the Marina BRT terminus in Lagos Island, Babatunde Fashola, governor of the state, who was represented by Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, his deputy, said that the purpose was to make the state’s transportation system more reliable, efficient and people-friendly. He described the launch as a giant step in the process of realising the model mega-city goal of the State and pointed out that aside the efficiency and speed which the process brings into the system, it would also save money and time for the users as they would pay as low as N20 depending on their destination instead of paying for the entire journey across the city.
According to him, by introducing this system, the Lagos state government has scored another first by taking Lagos to another level of transport-efficiency which is the first time it is happening in Nigeria. He said the state “is inching closer to its aspiration of the model mega-city of its dream, as the state is also moving its transport system closer to the standards of other countries.”
Dayo Mobereola, managing director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, said the introduction of e-ticketing was part of a holistic plan at returning the BRT operations and experience to its once efficient and effective state when it was first launched in 2008. He said the Lagos State Government was not unaware of the challenges that commuters in the current BRT system were experiencing. He explained that steps were currently being taken to ensure the restoration of efficient and effective service delivery on the system and also increase its capacity.
According to him, the e-ticketing payment was a solution through a payment card named ‘Lagos Connect,’ and would offer commuters several options. “With the e-payment system, Lagos Connect, commuters in Lagos will pay as low as N20 per trip instead of N70. They will not need to struggle for change or lose their money, and the system is safe and convenient,” he said.
The system allows passengers to use electronic cards rather than paper tickets to access bus services. It requires passengers to tap their pre-paid e-tickets on an electronic card reader in the bus and get checked in on credit confirmation. The e-ticketing system charges passengers according to the distance covered as opposed to paper tickets, which charged for the entire journey, even when passengers’ destinations were only half the way.