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Digital fares to be introduced on public transport

Lawrence Scott, the Minister of Transport, reveals a new app to track local transportation (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Technology to track public transport services and the number of passengers will help deliver changes to the timetable, the transport minister said today.

Lawrence Scott added that other Government plans on the horizon included greater enforcement of rules to govern the operation of commercial garages as well as an organised second-hand vehicle market.

He said that the ministry aimed to modernise the transport network "through the implementation of a digital fare media“.

Mr Scott explained: “A digital fare media will provide the option for both residents and visitors alike to use their phone, credit card or debit card to pay for rides and track the location of their bus or ferry through an app.

“Another advantage to the implementation of a digital fare media is that it will provide the Government with the ability to collect real-time ridership data which will allow us the ability to make the necessary adjustments to the public transportation schedule.

“While we look to transition the bus and ferry service over to a digital fare media, the majority of the taxi industry has been using similar electronic platforms for years.

“However, the ministry is aware that a harmonisation of sorts is needed among public service vehicles.

“In this session of the House of Assembly, the Legislature will take under consideration a Bill to harmonise the licence fees for public service vehicles with the aim to provide consistency within that industry.”

Mr Scott said that the Motor Car Act 1951 was “too restrictive” and would be modernised.

He added: “For example, with an ageing population, it is necessary to re-evaluate policies regarding vehicle licensing for seniors, ensuring that our seniors are able to more easily access the service they require while making sure all road users are appropriately assessed prior to being granted a vehicle licence, regardless of age.”

Mr Scott said that a second-hand vehicle marketplace with “necessary regulations” would offer residents “an affordable alternative” to buying a new vehicle.

He added that “public garages have become a steadily increasing source of complaints” in some areas.

Mr Scott said: “It has been realised that amendments to the current regulations are needed to allow the Government to better mitigate and mediate observed breaches or consistent infractions, giving the Minister of Transport the authority to suspend and revoke licences.”

He highlighted the importance of responsible use of vehicles.

Mr Scott said: “Going forward, the Bermuda Road Safety Council and the Bermuda Water Safety Council will be utilised to greater extent to ensure that transportation safety is kept on the forefront using vital public service messaging.”

He added that “repetition is the best form of indoctrination”.

Mr Scott said: “We just have to keep repeating and urging members of our motoring public to exercise care, caution and courtesy at all times.”

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Published November 17, 2020 at 8:45 am (Updated November 17, 2020 at 8:44 am)

Digital fares to be introduced on public transport

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