Public transport in Seychelles to go cashless to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
Seychelles Public Transport Company is the only public transport company in the island nation. (Daniel Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
The Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) says no cash exchange will be allowed on its buses as a preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19.
The deputy chief executive of the company, Maxwell Julie, told a press conference that commuters will have to register for a bus card – which is free - which they can then load up and swipe on the bus.
“We are insisting that commuters use travel cards on buses again. This will help with the protection of the public and our drivers,” explained Julie.
Cards are available at the Victoria, Anse Aux Pins and Port Launay bus terminals.
Julie said the company had previously planned plan to go cashless on its buses and now those plans have been accelerated. People can load their cards with a minimum amount of $4 and a maximum of $37.
Bernadette Sophola -- general manager for operations at SPTC -- said that on a daily basis up to 50,000 people use public transport. “This includes visitors, the general public and school children. But as the schools are closed, around 30,000 commuters use the public buses on a daily basis.”
|On a daily basis, up to 50,000 people use public transport. This includes visitors, the general public and school children. But as the schools are closed, around 30,000 commuters use the public buses on a daily basis (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY|
Though commuters will still be accepted on buses if they do not have a card; it is expected that they do the necessary in the shortest possible time.
The company explained that this measure is one in a series to improve hygiene following meetings with the health authority and joining national efforts to contain the spread of COVID – 19.
“With the recommendations and guidelines from health, we have started to sanitise and disinfect the bus terminal including benches and toilets. With the toilets we are doing this more often,” added Julie.
The deputy chief executive added that even the chemicals used are those recommended by the Public Health Authority.
|With the recommendations and guidelines from health, SPTC hs started to sanitise and disinfect the buses, bus terminal including benches and toilets. (Daniel Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
These measures are also being implemented on the second most populated island of Praslin. The company has set up its own COVID – 19 task force and in addition, SPTC’s in house nurse is giving training to all staff on how to protect themselves and the people they serve.
Seychelles Public Transport Company is the only public transport company in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – and runs from 5:30 am to 8:30 at night.