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Measures against COVID-19 | 19 March 2020

Measures against COVID-19

Mr Julie, flanked by Ms Sophola (left) and Ms Bonne during the press meet yesterday (Photo: Thomas Meriton)

SPTC goes for cashless service on all buses

 

As part of measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) will as from Monday March 23 make all its bus services cashless.

“We are encouraging commuters to take a travel card with SPTC and the cards will be preloaded with an amount of between R50 and R500 and they will be available at the bus stations in town, Anse Aux Pins and Port Launay. Before people had to pay R50 to get the card, but the cards will be free of charge and the commuters just have to top it up. Each time you travel, your balance will feature on your receipt,” explained Maxwell Julie, deputy chief executive of SPTC.

Mr Julie was speaking to the press yesterday to share the different measures taken by the company to protect its employees and the commuters.

The idea of encouraging a cashless service, he said, is mainly to reduce cash circulation on the buses and also preventing cash transactions among the commuters.

“Commuters are strongly encouraged to make use of the travel card as part of security and safety measures. Pre-loaded travel cards will be made available at various outlets within the country: districts and workplaces, effective from Monday March 23, 2020 but in the interim, cash will still be accepted on public buses until further notice,” Mr Julie said.

These cards will not affect the school children as all of them are equipped with a travel card since last year.

Speaking in general about the company’s measures against COVID-19, Mr Julie said they are two-fold – one for the staff and one for the commuters.

“As soon as we had embarked on the national programme, we met with DRDM and the Ministry of Health and SPTC will set up a task force to spearhead the programmes and the projects that need to be implemented. This has started with the training of the trainers and we have a nurse employed to help disseminate information to the staff in terms of hygiene and cleanliness. We have also met with all the cleaners, the contractors to make sure that we intensify the level of cleanliness in the offices and buildings. We are using chemicals recommended by the Ministry of Health. Sanitizers have been made available to all staff members. As for the general public we are starting a programme of disinfecting the buses and the facilities at the terminal. We are contributing also towards the education of the public.”

The benches used by the public will be cleaned once a day as well as the toilets.

Mr Julie stressed that SPTC is currently following the advice of the Ministry of Health and other authorities and no decision is taken on its own.

“SPTC will continue to serve the public until the country goes in a lock down,” he said.

He also thanked all the staff members of SPTC be it on Mahé and Praslin who are collaborating and working towards the safety of all.

Currently SPTC has a fleet of 220 buses but only 200 are operational. It serves some 50,000 commuters daily including some 20,000 students.

The second phase of the measures will be taken in consultation with the authorities.

The general manager for Operations, Bernadette Sophola and the manager for corporate affairs Fabianna Bonne also attended the meeting.

 

Vidya Gappy

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