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Cowry Card: BRT goes cashless, begins use of e-ticketing system

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Primero Transport Services Limited, operator of the Ikorodu to TBS Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) have announced a new e-ticketing payment system known as Cowry Card, ending cash transactions at bus terminals.

The use of the Lagos State Travel card known as Cowry Card will begin from 1st of February 2021 for fare collection on bus services offered by the transport company.

According to the Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, the new payment system which will be introduced at the Ikorodu to TBS route today is already in use on the Oshodi to Abule Egba BRT system.

In a press release dated January 31st, titled “Transportation Fare on the Ikorodu to TBS Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Goes Cowry”, Akinajo said, “the use of the card will henceforth be the only mode of fare payment and administration of regulated transport services in the state.”

She explained that “following the launch of the expanded e-ticketing system by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in August 2020, the use of the card had become imperative in order to reduce cash transactions in transport operation in order to protect stakeholders’ investment in the transport sector.”

“A novel community bus scheme, First Mile and Last Mile (FMLM) Scheme, is soon to be launched as feeder system to transport services on the main transport corridors.”

According to Engr. Akinajo, “the services of FMLM would also run using the Cowry card. She enjoined commuters to embrace the use of the Cowry card which would soon be extended to other transport services such as water and rail transportation in 2022 to ease access to transport services in the state.”

In a chat with WuzupNigeria, LAMATA’s Assistant Director, Corporate Commission – Kolawole Ojelabi said that the move was to ensure the reduction of cash transactions the transport operation and other cards used for previous transactions have been integrated into Cowry Card.

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He also noted that commuters who do not have the Cowry Card can access it at the bus terminal where there are accredited sales agents.

“The card becomes operational today. There is no cash transaction any longer… they [commuters] have been pre-informed with a notice” which states that “beginning from 1st of February, the means of payment will be through the Cowry Card. If you go to Oshodi Abule Egba, that’s what they are using. So the whole essence is to ensure that we reduce cash transaction in transport operation.”

Asked if the previous cards are still functional, he said “Cowry Card is the way to go. The other cards, what we have done is that we have integrated that into Cowry Card” adding that “there are accredited agents at the terminal who will be very well ready to sell the card.”

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