Daily commuters on the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system can now board buses using a contactless card payment system, the Lagos State Government says.
The newly-introduced system enables travelers that ride on BRT buses to make payments using the so-called Lagos Connect contactless cards that can either be pre-loaded or linked to a funded-bank account.
The enhanced electronic payment system, which is Powered by Lagos State, LAMATA, Primero Transport Limited and Sterling Bank Plc, was launched at the Sterling Bank, House, Marina in partnership with payment and technology companies that Mikroelektronica, MasterCard, E-Purse Systems, Monet Plus, NIBSS, Epay-plus and SecureID in Lagos.
To speed up commuting time by making payment easier and faster, the Europay MasterCard and Visa (EMV) compliant contactless payment system was designed because it empowers commuters to just tap their cards on a console to board a BRT bus.
The launch of the contactless card puts Lagos ahead of some mega cities including New York in terms of implementation as it eliminates the high turnaround time associated with cash-based ticket purchases, according to Lagos State Government.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode launched Lagos connect card last November and this enhancement will however be usable on mass transit systems anywhere in the world.
Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank says the bank intends to achieve its primary role of financial intermediation through intervention in sectors that will create jobs and bring about economic growth for the country.
The sectors include health, education, agriculture, renewable energy and transport, he says adding that the bank was proud to collaborate with Lagos State, LAMATA, Primero, E-Purse Systems and MasterCard to launch a multimodal contactless payment card for use on mass transit buses, ferries and trains in the Lagos metropolis.
On his part, Chief Demola Seriki, Chairman, Primero Transport Limited, described the launch of the enhanced Lagos Connect EMV compliant contactless payment system as symbolic.
“We are delighted to unveil the enhanced Lagos Connect EMV compliant contactless payment system powered by Farepay. It is indicative of efforts to eliminate the inefficiencies associated with public transportation in Lagos.
“A lot of work is being put into transforming public transportation into a world class and sustainable industry which brings comfort to commuters and creates economic and social opportunities”, Seriki says.
“The BRT system was initiated by the Lagos State Government as part of the strategies to modernize the public transport system in Lagos to ensure it compares with what obtains in other major cities around the world.
” What we are witnessing today is a major stride towards providing efficient service that will encourage patronage of the Bus Rapid Transit by middle class commuters thereby reducing the number of private vehicles on our roads, ” he adds.
According to Omokehinde Adebanjo, Vice President and Area Business Head, West Africa, Mastercard “Technology has the potential to shape the way Africans live, and the importance of removing cash from key sectors remains a critical focus for Lagos State and the Federal Government of Nigeria”.
Stating the advantages, she said that the contactless solution has the potential of not only solving challenges faced by other channels of transport, but it can also be easily implemented in sectors such as retail and government services.
“This is an important step to creating a smarter Lagos, and a Nigeria that is less dependent on cash,”she adds.