12 January 2013

Uganda: Pioneer Starts Digital Payments

AS Pioneer Easy Bus is struggling to cut down its costs, it will soon introduce a new automated fare collection system.

The bus owners said the move to use an automated system is aimed at cutting down on losses, following reports that some stewards were collecting money without issuing tickets.

New Vision Online has learnt that this week, the bus company installed automatic gadgets in its buses. The company has also deployed people at different bus stages to sell the tickets.

"Commuters are supposed to buy tickets outside before they enter the buses. Our employees wearing aprons are stationed at different stages to give out tickets," a source said.

Among those affected by the changes include drivers and conductors.

It is the reason over 150 employees protested on Monday, demanding the management to first pay their arrears before sacking them.

The drivers said they had not received their salaries and daily allowances since November.

They are entitled to a daily allowance of sh15, 000 and a sh300, 000 monthly salary. Other drivers accused the company of failing to listen to their complaints.

A top manager who preferred anonymity said the affected employees protested because the management reduced their salaries.

"Why should we continue paying them the same salary, when they are working half day? We discovered that they needed to rest because they are human," he said.

He said some of employees who were laid off were collecting money without issuing out tickets.

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