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Another bus company tried the honesty system…it failed

Apparently, one in three passengers didn’t pay his fare

This bus operator meant well. There was just too much dishonesty. PHOTO FROM GREEN FROG HYBRID BUS COMPANY

Remember that viral story last year in which the G. Liner Bus Company introduced the so-called Honesty Bus? This bus was given the moniker because it featured an “unsupervised fare box.” Which meant there was no conductor onboard to issue tickets and collect fares—passengers simply dropped their exact payment into a metal receptacle.

We have no idea what became of this experiment, but it turns out G. Liner wasn’t the only bus operator to give the concept a try. Last March 11, the Green Frog Hybrid Bus Company started implementing its own version of the honesty system. Its instructions: “Pay upon entry and exact change or tap cards only.”

The firm boldly declared: “This is how it’s done in First World countries. This is how Green Frog will do it from now on.”

Can the idealistic honesty system really work in the Philippines? PHOTO FROM GREEN FROG HYBRID BUS COMPANY

Today, just nine days later, the company announced on its Facebook page that it was ending its idealistic attempt at trusting Filipinos. “We are disappointed to see that the honesty system did not work,” it said. “Over 30% of the passengers did not pay their fare. We are returning to the conductor fare collection system again.”

Maybe one person who left a comment is right: “Decades of government corruption plus corrupt culture equals corrupted people.”

Are we really a dishonest nation? (Insert eye-roll emoji here.)


Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.