The corporation went cashless on July 1, requiring commuters to use SPTC bus cards to travel onboard its buses. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) – The Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) is satisfied with how the transition to cashless travel has been going so far, said a top official on Thursday.
The corporation went cashless on July 1, requiring commuters to use SPTC bus cards to travel onboard its buses.
“I can say that we are very satisfied with the outcome of the project, where it has allowed commuters to better budget their travels,” said Jeffy Zialor, the acting chief executive of SPTC.
He said going cashless has also made life easier for their drivers as they do not have to deal with monetary transactions. It has also eliminated the need for drivers to carry large sums of cash, which they needed to hand over every day.
Before going cashless, a bus ticket was SCR12 ($0.88) and with the switch, the cost of using an SPTC card is SCR10 ($0.73), which is one of the benefits.
Zialor explained that there have been some issues that are usually the case when introducing new technologies and has urged the public to better plan their travels.
“We have had issues with people getting on the bus and seeing that the card is empty, so I want to urge our commuters to ensure they always have some balance available on their cards,” added Zialor.
As part of the programme, various shops around the country are now able to recharge bus cards. There are 70 outlets now offering the service.
The general manager for corporate affairs, Alex Etienne, explained that there have been some issues with regard to the reloading of cards at these outlets as some areas do not have shops with the service.
“To reduce the concerns where commuters cannot find an outlet to recharge their cards in urgent situations, we are asking the public to try and not only add small amounts to their cards but to reload with a monthly amount instead,” said Etienne, who added that SPTC has tried to cover as many areas as possible with the reloading services.
Meanwhile, there have been concerns where people have reported shopkeepers telling them that there was no cash in the system to reload the cards.
Etienne explained that the machines are recharged remotely by SPTC and it is up to the shopkeepers to ensure payment to SPTC so that the system can be refilled, which can reload the card for the public.
With regards to tourists, SPTC has explained that they have partnered with the Seychelles Electronic Border System so that when a tourist enters Seychelles, they can request for a bus card, that they can collect at the airport to use during their stay.
SPTC says that they will be looking to further enhance this service in the future. Some of the plans include allowing people to pay for their trip directly through their debit cards, opening self-service 24/7 reloading kiosks and introducing QR codes to allow for payment via smartphones.