One of the passengers, Mallam Salihu Mohammed, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that although the initiative was still at its teething stage, it would address the issues around ticket racketeering and allow for smooth operation.
“Before now, there’s been so much sharp practices especially by staff and others who frustrated the usual procedure of buying tickets.
“Most times, even with your money, you still have to lobby or bribe your access to a ticket,” he noted.
Also, Musa Gambo, a student who believed e-ticketing was long overdue, said the development would allow passengers to purchase ticket from the comfort of their homes and come to the station within stipulated time.
“In the past, for fear of not having the ticket, one has to come to the station like two to three hours before take off, and sometimes you pay more or don’t even get the ticket at all”.
Another passenger, Mrs Hannatu Kabiru, a health worker, commended the initiative and prayed that it would be sustained.
“We hope this won’t be frustrated by persons who before now made daily fortune from sales of ticket at the station,” she said.
Mr Godwin Frank, a lecturer, however, fears that the initiative may be jeopardised by elements who hitherto made brisk business from sales of tickets at the station.
“I hope those at the helm of affairs would allow this initiative to live up to its intention, otherwise it may not be sustained,” he noted.
However, Mr Victor Adamu, NRC Operations Manager at the station, urged travellers to cooperate with the Corporation for the success of the initiative.
“Our focus is to seek the cooperation of all Nigerians to support the initiative of the Federal Government, especially in the rail transport business and make this work.
“We commenced online e-ticketing at all our stations today and so far, there are no hitches.
“With this development, travellers can now purchase their tickets online by simply downloading the App.
“Those who cannot access it online can still buy their tickets at the station, using POS and our vending machines.
“We think this is a better option intended to tackle all kinds of bottlenecks experienced in the past,” the manager said.
NAN reports that tickets are being sold at N6,000 for first class; Business class, N5,000 and Economic class, N3,000.