Friday 31 August, 2018

In the first 11 months of operation, eTransport has recorded over 110 million successful “taps”, averaging around ten million taps per month. An average of $11 million has been spent monthly by commuters on eTransport Top-ups since the rollout of the initiative in October of last year.
“With over 100 million successful taps on the books and tens more millions of dollars’ worth of Top-ups recorded per month, eTransport has played a major role in moving our transportation sector into the 21st Century. In partnership with industry stakeholders including Fiji Bus Operators Association, the system has brought new levels of efficiency, accountability and visibility on the bus industry,” said Vodafone Regional CEO, Pradeep Lal. Over 1 million eTransport cards have been issued to commuters so far since the launch of the service and majority of the passengers are using their permanent cards for travel and only 1% of the total transactions are done through Disposable Cards.
eTransport has dramatically improved the reliability and accuracy of data collection, including information on bus operator income and passenger loading by trip and by route, giving bus operators, financing companies, the Land Transport Authority and others in the industry a powerful new analytical tool in decision-making. This robust data source has already provided a basis for more facts-based development planning in the transportation sector, including the development of more efficient route and trip planning, more effective public transportation policies and more informed road infrastructure planning. 

Top-up Agents are springing up across the country, with over 1,300 agents registered to-date, including 24-hour service stations and kava shops that provide afterhours top-up services. Vodafone is constantly seeking to expand Top-up locations and is recruiting new agents on a regular basis to meet commuter demand throughout Fiji, including rural locations. 

eTransport Top-ups can now be made via M-PAiSA, giving over 550,000 customers the ability to top-up anytime, anywhere on their mobile phones. We’ve also introduced mobile agents at all major bus stations in the country and have set-up rural agents in more remote locations, bringing new business and employment opportunities to Fijians everywhere, especially for village canteens who are earning around $100 a week selling top-up cards,” said Mr Lal. 
Looking ahead, Vodafone plans to add even more new features and functionality to eTransport to improve the ease-of-use for the Fijian public. Vodafone has also embarked on a project to implement several 24 hour E-Ticketing self-service Top-up vending machines at all major bus stations to further complement the current Top-up options. More value added services through the E-Ticketing system will be provided in future through smartphone based apps for tracking buses, bus timetables, arrival times and calculation of bus fare for distance travelled to further help commuters in their daily travel.  Vodafone is also in discussions with banks in Fiji to enable eTransport card top-ups through customer banks accounts and ATMs. 
“We’re seeing other great benefits to our economy and to Fijian wellbeing because of eTransport. The Fijian Government was able to quickly disburse assistance through eTransport-CARE in the wake of cyclone Josie and Keni, giving affected Fijians the ability to travel to see family members and obtain relief supplies. Students have also continued to utilise the eTransport system to benefit from the Fijian Government’s subsidised fares to travel to school and, more recently, it’s been announced that pensioners and Fijians living with disabilities will travel for free on buses on a preapproved limit – that kind of innovative policy-making is only possible because of the eTransport system.”
Vodafone will continue its concerted effort to educate commuters of new eTransport developments through the all media including TV, Radio, Press and Roadshows. Furthermore, Vodafone and INKK customers can now dial *134# to find the nearest E-Ticketing Top-up agent to where they are based on location services on their mobile phones.