The first electronic ticketing payment system for transport fare in Nigeria Tuesday came on stream in the commercial city of Lagos, PANA reported.
The magnetic e-ticketing system was introduced by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), operators of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
Since its introduction in 2008 as the first such transport system in Nigeria and Africa, the BRT has become popular among commuters in Lagos.
It operates on dedicated lanes, which allows faster movement at peak periods, particularly when traffic is heavy.
On a daily basis, it ferries thousands of passengers who see the BRT as a better alternative to other commercial buses which have to contend with the chaotic traffic situation witnessed every day on many roads in the city.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Transport Agency, Dr. Dayo Moberola, said the e-ticketing system would enable commuters plan their movements easily at very cheap costs.
“It is simple, efficient and cost effective,” Dr. Moberola said at the inauguration ceremony.
The e-ticket will enable commuters to use their tickets on the BRT, ferry services and the blue light train system, currently under construction.
The e-ticketing system is also said to be more cost effective, as passengers can now pay according to their destinations. This is unlike the paper ticket when commuters pay the same price no matter their destinations.
“I actually see it as a good movement towards the right direction in terms of making transportation easy and accessible and more effective in Lagos state. The state has been the pilot of good innovation from time immemorial and this is also another feather to the cap of the state government,” Tokunbo Daramola, one of the first sets of commuters to use the ticket, told PANA.
Others said the innovation would enhance the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cashless economy policy since commuters will not need to use cash every time they board the bus.
Some commuters, however, expressed fears about the sustainability of the new payment method and possible loss of jobs following the new technology.