Starting on the 1st April 2019, all students using Public Land Transport Services, mainly the service buses, must use a School Identification Card.
This decision was unanimously passed by the Public Land Transport Authority (PLTA) Board, after it was discovered that some young boys and girls pay bus drivers the Vt100 student fare, although they are no longer attending schools.
This often happens during the weekend when students do not move around in school uniforms. Some young people take advantage of this, pay only Vt100 (Senior Secondary Fare) claiming they are students.
PLTA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Reginald Tabigerian, says concerns have been raised to the PLTA that young boys and girls who are not students continue to pay student bus fare claiming that they are students, which at times is not true.
“Some of these youths are not students and it is difficult for drivers of these service buses to verify their claim whether are actually students,” he said.
“Students do not normally wear uniforms after school hours and during weekends and this is where youths who are not students mingle with students to use public transport system and pay students fare of Vt50 and Vt100. This is not right.”
To curb this attitude by youths in Port Vila, the PLTA has written to the Director General of the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), advising the Ministry of the decision taken by PLTS and at the same time calling the MOET to advise all schools throughout Port Vila and Efate to arrange for all students from Kindergarten through Primary to Secondary Schools, to be issued with School ID cards which will include the photo of student, year valid for and date of issuance.
“The PLTA will liaise with all Public Transport Drivers to enforce this as soon as practicable and we kindly request your office (DG Education) to issue a memo to every school to ensure that this is addressed as a matter of urgency,” said CEO Tabigerian.
“Every student who use our public transport to go to school and back should liaise with their schools to have an ID. A timeframe of one month should be given and by 1st Aril 2019, all service bus owners and drivers should ensure that students should identify themselves as ‘students’ with a valid ID card. Any student who does not show a valid student ID card will be kindly asked to pay an adult bus fare of Vt150.”
On the question of students using the national ID card, the CEO at the PLTA says this will not be acceptable because it does not give the status of the holder as a “student”, whereas the student ID card will clearly state this.
Schools and parents who have further queries should contact the PLTA CEO on 22252/33200/or 7778633 or 5489241.
The Daily Post has contacted the office of the Director General in the MOET but could not obtain comments before going to print.