By Chioma Obinagwam
Sterling Bank Plc in collaboration with Primero, LAMATA and E-Purse Systems Limited have begun implementation of e-ticketing system for Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) in Lagos.
This, according to a statement from the lender, followed the recent launch of the scheme by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
The e-ticketing system is an integral part of the Intelligent Transport System (ITS), which will help commuters to plan their journey and drastically reduce time spent waiting for buses at bus stops. Is also helps in recording important data in transport operations, which will assist in planning and regulating transport services in the state.
Speaking during a bus ride over the weekend by senior executives of Sterling Bank and other stakeholders to demonstrate the workability of the new payment system, Mr. Yemi Adeola, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, described it as an innovation that is first of its kind in Africa, adding that it is a classic example of what Public, Private Partnership (PPP) should be.
He said the initiative would not only transform the transportation sector in Nigeria alone but in the whole of the African continent, remarking that the role of government is to create an enabling environment for people to go about their businesses and also ensures free movement of people among others.
Adeola said the automation of the fare payment system would also move the transportation sector from the historical approach to a modern method of payment and also made it easy for people to commute not only in Lagos but in the whole country.
The Chief Executive Officer said the new payment system would also transform the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
Also speaking, Managing Director of Primero Transport Company, Mr. Fola Tinubu explained how the contactless card would work, adding that it would run alongside with the existing manual ticketing system before the end of the first quarter of 2018, when the manual payment system will be phased out.
Similarly, Mr. Olugbenga Adams, Head of Digital Banking described the Automated Fare Collection system as a unique and modern way for payments of fares on Urban Mass Transit. The system is similar to what exists in developed countries. He explained that the system is multi-modal and will ultimately work on other transport modes beyond the buses.