Implementation of cashless transportation system delayed

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Implementation of cashless transportation system delayed


Plans to implement a cashless transport system as a solution to the controversies and disputes over bus fares have been pushed back to next year, President of National Council of Public Transportation (NCOPT) Godfrey Ferdinand has told St Lucia News Online (SNO).

“We are still in the consultation phase and we are meeting with different associations weekly. But it will take some time to get the machines here and have them installed, so we are looking at next year, maybe early next year,” he added.

The NCOPT believes a cashless system would provide greater security for both drivers and passengers.

According to Ferdinand, the system will hopefully bring a resolution to conflict over fares since the collection of fares will be done in a more effective manner.

The NCOPT said the cashless system will comprise of a card with 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.

The system could be introduced to St. Lucia’s public transportation system by a local subsidiary of a US-based company, Transco Limited. Upon subscription, drivers will be equipped with a scanning machine, installed by Transco Limited.

Ferdinand had told SNO in a previous interview that .5 percent of the receipt will go to the council to finance the monitoring of the cashless system and 1.5 percent to Transco.

A number of passengers in recent times have been allegedly physically or verbally abused by bus drivers over fares.

The most recent incident involved a woman from Pavee woman who alleged that she was thrown out of a bus over 25 cents on Friday, October 3.

Mindi Alcindor, 28, said she was short of 25 cents to pay the regular fare when she boarded a Pavee bus at Coral and Micoud Streets. She said she alerted the driver of her situation and had asked to call ahead to have a relative meet her at her stop to pay the outstanding sum.

However, the driver began to verbally abuse her on her way home. Alcindor said that another passenger paid the outstanding amount to the driver, but he continued to verbally abuse her.

The Pavee woman claims that after multiple attempts to get the driver to stop the minibus and with the help of other passengers on board, he finally stopped.

At that time with only one foot on the ground the driver drove off, pitching her off the bus, which caused her to land on her knees and elbows. Alcindor sustained a few bruises to these areas.

A formal complaint was made to the police. The bus driver also gave a different version of his story to the police.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I think that's a great idea, but for that idea to work, their must have a proper bus! ThAts like in London, we have an Oyster card which we top up to used the bus instead of walking around with money in your hands!
    Hope that works

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  2. First, have a proper transit system with safe buses and well trained drivers with customer service part of their training... public interest and safety should be a priority... fare collection methods less so!....

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  3. St.Lucian's are never in favour of change.The world is moving forward and that small island minded people still want to stay in the dark ages.Come on people accept the change and think positive so that the country and it's people can move forward.

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  4. At Anonymous - I see you read but you just did not understand. I suggest you read the article a second time or if needs be a third time as well. Smh, lol, lol, lol!!!!

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  5. People please read to understand. The article never claimed that the passenger needed to have a phone. It clear states that it works like a phone card system therefore you would need to "top up" your card in order to have funds to pay for the fare. Furthermore, most of us do not get money in our hands when we work, we would need to go to the bank when we need money so it makes a lot of sense to me that they would also do that when they are in need of funds.

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  6. That system will pose a serious problem for St. lucia.
    Say for example a person coming from Ceceron and stop to Castries, how do they obtain a card.
    Will everyone who travels by bus obtain a card in advance so they can use it if needed in the future?

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    • I think that there may be recharging stations in particular locations to make it easier to add funds to the cards. Maybe the government can work with owners of corner shops in different communities to provide top up locations for consumers.

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  7. It is indeed a great idea but did the article said a phone was needed or jus like the telephone system??

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  8. so every time the driver need money they have to go to the bank now that jus doesnt make sense

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    • Really?? St. Lucians always have a problem with moving forward. The drivers complain about their safety with cash on them, so what is wrong with having that money on a card and then going to the bank? It is much safer then having cash. We always say we want change but stuck in backward thinking.

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  9. That's sounds like a very great idea... But I'm really concern about the elderly... Majority of them don't have a phone.

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