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Fuel Subsidy: NAIRAXI To Digitize Public Transport To Mitigate Adverse Effects

_By Godson Ikpontu_ 

Ahead of the removal of fuel subsidy come June 2023, the Indigenous leading Tech-powered mobility Company NAIRAXI says digitizing Nigeria public transportation systems will help to mitigate impending adverse effects.

The company Chief Executive Officer, Kingsley Eze disclosed this in a statement signed on Wednesday and made available to journalists.

The CEO noted that the vision is to consequently improve accessibility to mobility, explore alternative energies, expand proprietary mobile technology and ensure a contactless transit card and auto fare collection technology.

Eze also disclosed that the collapsed and inefficiency of our urban transit has led to what is known as "the one-man per car syndrome". This obviously leads to traffic congestion, gridlock and poor air quality as a result of pollution.

He noted that now is the best time to explore programs and initiatives to advance the country's transport sector.

He said "Federal employees and economically challenged Nigerians may receive transit passes in amounts approximately equal to their commuting costs but not to exceed the maximum level allowed by law. It is accessed via a seamless transportation payment platform spanning public and private systems.

The program objectives of the NAIRAXI Transit Subsidy Program for private and mass mobility is to encourage Nigerians to use public transportation for commuting to and from work, and other productive engagements.

According to the Co-Founder of NAIRAXI, Elizabeth Omale, who spoke with our Correspondent exclusively, she explained that Increased use and nationwide adoption of NAIRAXI Digital Transit Subsidy Program will improve air quality, equity, accessibility, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduce traffic congestion, and conserve energy by reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles on the road. A win for everyone."

She described the proposed removal of subsidy as the beginning of a new Nigeria. She says by using a little percentage to subsidize the transport services there will be better national growth, development and impact in the lives of poor masses. She encouraged all citizens to embrace the NAIRAXI Scheme, so that we can take back our country by cooperatively taking out subsidy.

Although Eze reiterated that making public transportation attractive to commuters requires the digitalization of the industry. He further emphasized on the need for technology to scale up the reach and expansion of services. "Technology can cut through a lot of drawbacks in the public transport like long wait time, inefficient scheduling and payment processes."

"We should be pushing for an intermodal approach in the sense that, shared taxis, buses, rail, ferries and last-mile transit options like "Keke" must be well harnessed,"he said

Since 2020, residents of Luxembourg have been able to freely commute with trains and buses throughout the country without buying tickets. According to the government, it is in a bid to reduce dense car traffic. The measure is part of a wider plan to reduce congestion.

"In a report by Bloomberg, free transit programs have emerged in all kinds of cities and countries over the years as a means of addressing rising energy costs or traffic. Rome experimented with free buses in 1971; Austin, Texas, tried it in 1989 and 1990; Kansas City's bus and streetcar systems have been fare-less since 2020; and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has vowed to "Free the T" throughout the Massachusetts city, starting with a trio of fare-free bus routes."

According to the report, one of the longest-running efforts has been in Estonia's capital, Tallinn, which has had free public transit for residents since 2013, while Estonians also pay no fares for rural bus journeys. Ticket-less transit has also recently arrived in the cities of Dunkirk, France, and the Czech Republic's Frýdek-Místek.

Meanwhile , NAIRAXI Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) Pilot Production Testing (PPT), allows the convenient use of contactless smart cards as cashless payment instruments in public transport modes. This is currently implemented in the Tinubu/Shettima Nairaxi Transit Card Initiative, which is introduced by NAIRAXI. Already many are currently registered via the portal, as commuters across major cities in Nigeria are beneficiaries of the free digitised transportation initiative.

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