An official from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified Saturday that old beep cards used for railway lines can also be used in the EDSA Busway system.
“Meron daw mga nag bebenta ng beep cards sa mga stations at sinasabi na di daw puwedeng gamitin ‘yung lumang beep card nila…Di po totoo iyon, fake news po ‘yon, wag kayong maniniwala (We’ve received reports that those selling beep cards in stations were telling commuters that they can no longer use their old beep cards…That is not true, that’s fake news, don’t believe it),” DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran told DZBB in an interview.
Libiran said the beep cards used in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) are the same as the ones used for the EDSA Busway.
“Kung ‘yung beep card niyo ay nagagamit ninyo sa MRT at LRT pu-pwede pa rin po gamitin sa EDSA Busway ‘yan (If you are able to use your beep card in the MRT and LRT, you can also use it in the EDSA Busway),” she said.
Meanwhile, Libiran assured the public that DOTr is doing its part in pushing for free beep cards.
Libiran said DOTr, including the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), is already in negotiations with the Metro Manila consortium that operates the automatic fare collection system (AFCS).
The DOTr official said LTFRB will release a memorandum circular on the matter “next week or not later than next week.”
Aside from the card issuance fee, Libiran said DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade is also seeking the removal of the minimum load requirement of P60, and convince fee of P5 every time a commuter loads his or her beep card.
Libiran said Tugade gave LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra two options to solve the issue on beep cards: One is to give it for free and second is to suspend the use of AF (automatic fare) payments for five days until the issue is resolved.
The DOTr is likewise studying other payment collection options such as the use of mobile apps and QR (Quick Response) codes or putting up fare collection boxes.
Libiran reiterated DOTr’s appeal to the PUV operators and AF Payments Inc., the provider of beep cards, to give the cards for free at least during the pandemic.
“We’re not asking them to give it for free forever, ngayon pandemic lang dahil nga matindi ‘yung impact ng pandemic sa mangagawa natin (just this pandemic because the pandemic had a great impact on our workers),” she said.