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Groundwork for cashless transport system gets underway

By Samuel Sukhnandan, Staff Reporter

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Godfrey Ferdinand.

The National Council of Public Transportation (NCOPT) is one step closer to implementing a cashless transport system in Saint Lucia, President Godfrey Ferdinand told St Lucia News Online (SNO) today.

Ferdinand said – Transco Limited – the company that was hired to set up the cashless system has already sent a representative here, who has been meeting with various minibus associations island-wide.

“They are beginning to digitally do the bus stops, so they would have enough information for the GPS to pick up the different bus fares, when the system becomes operational,” he explained.

In the meantime, the NCOPT is awaiting some legislative changes in terms of fare collection, so that the council can do a trial run of the new system.

“There will be a six months trial to determine whether the system is compatible with our transport system and to determine whether it meets what the sector is looking forward to,” he explained.

Ferdinand stated that while some minibus operators and owners are still not supportive of the new system, the majority of operators have welcomed the initiative.

Two percent will be deducted from each transaction. .He said .5 percent of each payment will go to the council to finance the monitoring of the cashless system and 1.5 percent to the company.

“There are persons who keep on raising the issue in terms of the percentage they would have to be paying. Some are giving some bogus figures,” he added.

Nevertheless, the NCOPT has started meeting with associations and their members, to educate them about the cashless system and to answer any questions they might have.

A public awareness campaign in relation to the implementation will also be launched, in an effort to raise awareness and to educate commuters of the system.

The council recently signed an agreement with the Gros-Islet Minibus Association, who will be part of the committee to collect the funds raised from the cashless system for the NCOPT.

Asked whether there are any discussions about an increase in minibus fares, Ferdinand said the NCOPT plans to meet with Minister Phillip J. Pierre soon to discuss this and other issues.

The council is looking to implement the cashless system using a card consisting of digital data and fares, similar to that of the telephone card system.

The card, which would be scanned upon entry of a bus by the passenger, will automatically transfer the fare to the driver’s account.

Drivers are expected to benefit from the implementation of this system in a number of ways: collecting fares in an effective manner, greater security and to bring a resolution to conflict over fares.

It will also eliminate the issue of school children losing their money, because the system will make provision for a digital watch that you can scan and a top-up card, so the child can have a card for a week or month with a security code.

Upon subscription, drivers will be equipped with a scanning machine.

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21 comments

  1. for some time now

    I wish mini bus driver's new all about that system but then again it's about godfrey let's see how it turn out

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  2. Welcome to the 21st Century!

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  3. it's was about time someone came up with this cash less system this system based on what i read provides a sense of better security for the drivers and a more correct payment method. i do not know why this has taken so long but i am very much glad that it is on its way...and as for where crime is regarded one step closer to home and safety.... please people think about it logically, we got to move forward and not backward not every good idea is built to oppress. This one speaks volumes to the tone that we need some change we need better.

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  4. This is a fantastic idea and it will create jobs in that there will be a need for technicians etc...come on St. Lucia...it's time we move forward! !

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  5. So there were 2 buckets and in 1 bucket had white crabs and in the other, black crabs. It so happened that the white crabs used eachother and so climbed upon one another and formed a pyramid which allowed them to climb out the bucket. Where as in the bucket with the black crabs, it was found that all they did was fight eachother and pull down any of their fellow black crabs that was trying to get out instead. - That's all i have to say to all you black crabs who view the cashless system as a bad idea.

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  6. moving full speed ahead

    This is truly progress for St.Lucia, cudos to all those who have had a positive influence in the progression of this project. Slu can now finally catch up with the world around us.

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  7. Way to go Godfrey, it's about time! somebody do something to improve the system. Doh mind dem fools who saying de system bad. They have no mind for progress.

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  8. Personally, I love the idea. I can't wait to hear how it works. Those idiots lashing the system just afraid of modern technology and instead of learning to grow and develop, want to keep the rest of us back. That's why all our well educated kids leaving St. lucia and staying in more developed countries instead of coming back home to help develop St. Lucia. Not when they have to face A-holes like this plus a government who supports A-holes like this!!!

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  9. The cashless system is a necessity. It eliminates fraud, prevents robberies, and standardizes fares. Computers don't cheat, people do. Systems 1000% bigger are used worldwide with millions of riders daily without issues. People in St Lucia use their credit and debit cards on a similar system daily with local merchants. Is there not accountability? The only people who lose out when such systems are implemented are criminals. 1.5% goes to operate the system. 0.5% goes to NCOPT to help the association and it's members (the drivers). A very low fee and consistent with other similar systems.Furthermore, an automated system allows for greater transparency. It's 2015!

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  10. Did you people take the time to study this thing thoroughly? Please do not just copy what you see or in metropolitan countries. Some things might not work in small island states. Furthermore I don't trust this Ferdinand guy. Has he become president of the NOCPT for
    life?

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  11. You guys cant be trusted. What is the situation with combined investments? Its 2 years no financial report. Why is that Godfrey? Why has there not been a meeting of shareholders Godfrey? The cashless system is good but you cant be trusted.

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  12. That's a great idea people just have your bus pass , your lunch and when you get home you will have dinner. That in itself will help parents it not all the time we have extra cash to give our kids for school. One monthly pass u will serve money
    Give it a try that's t he only way we c an know if it will work. Good luck.

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  13. lol what happens now when the child tell the bus driver he loos his card lmao

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  14. I do support you.

    Our only Major Hurdle, is that you have to deal with a country where 97% of the people are IGNORANT and FUNCTIONALLY ILLITERATE.
    So obviously, they will not understand what you're trying to do. So they will attack you all day.

    This is what they are known for.

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  15. This is crazy, so in addition to paying 11% on the bus loan, you now have to pay another unnecessary 2% for…..??? I still cannot understand….then when the time comes to collect the payments, there are discrepancies? Who comes up with those ideas? The bus system is all privately owned so why would the bus drivers go through this? Moreso, persons would now have to go and purchase cards, probably take long lines, hustle. We see those things in places where there are Government owned transport systems but this will not work in this situation, and definitely not at a cost, which will eventually be passed on to the consumers.

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    • Poor People fed up.

      I do not support this mark of the beast system neither, St.Lucian better start riding horses once again. 🙂
      Just a little humor this morning.

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    • Yeah my boy! I dunno why you get a bullet for your money, then I would love to hear what you go say then, for all the drivers who lost their lives already. You'll selfish pieces of crap, only thinking of yourselves, no progress for de country. Let to people like you'll we still cooking on stones.

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  16. Let's encourage and support all crime fighting initiatives. Fight the demons !!

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  17. You just know that this will get abused somehow or won't work properly. There will be new scams.

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  18. Godfrey is a fifth what about the company he said that he stated for the drivers what happen to the $350.000 dollas that's not accounted for .

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  19. Sounds like a plan. Perhaps the government bus subsidy for students can be better regulated with this system as well.

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