Cashless Bus Transport….The Way Forward

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Thank God it’s Friday and if the weather permits, we will all have a blissful weekend. I will like to put out an idea which I feel is much needed in Nigeria, most especially in the urban areas: Cashless Public Transport.
Have you ever boarded a public bus, paid your fare to the bus conductor, only to be told there was no change and worse still, have you come off a bus and forgotten to collect your change owed by the conductor. I am certain at some point in time the majority of Nigerians have experienced such scenarios. Other issues that plague cash based transport is the security risk of transporters carrying money around and the unwanted delays caused by cash handling. The best way of mitigating these issues is Cashless Transport.
Let’s review a case study: Transport for London (TfL) UK announced recently that cash payments for bus travel will not be allowed by June 2014. Cash fares have now been replaced by the Oyster Card.
The Oyster card is a blue credit-card-sized stored-value contact-less smart card that can hold single tickets, period tickets and travel permits, which must be added to the card before travel. Passengers touch it on an electronic reader when entering and leaving the London transport system in order to validate it or deduct funds. Cards can be “topped-up” by recurring payment authority, by online purchase, at credit card terminals or by cash. Apparently only 1% of travelers in London still paid bus fares with cash.
TFL has taken the cashless route because travelers will benefit from quicker and more convenient ways of paying their bus fares.
With the existence of organized public bus transport systems like the Lagos State BRT, the use of a cashless system can eliminate security and efficiency issues aligned with cash fare collection and introduce a more effective and organized bus fare collection process.

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