The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has decided to suspend the mandatory use of beep cards at the EDSA Busway starting Oct. 5.
This was after AF Payments Inc., the provider of the automatic fare collection system (AFCS) at the EDSA Busway, refused to waive the cost of the beep card despite consistent pleas made by the government.
Beep cards being offered at bus stations costs P180. That’s P80 for the card and P100 for the load. On top of this, a P5 convenience fee is also being charged for third-party service providers for reloads, while there is a P65 maintaining balance policy.
In a statement on Sunday, Oct. 4, the DOTr and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said waiving the cost of beep cards “would have made a big difference to the commuters, mostly daily wage earners who are the most affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.”
Pending the resolution of the matter, DOTr and LTFRB decided to suspend the mandatory use of beep cards at the EDSA Busway beginning Monday, Oct. 5.
In the meantime, the department said a dual payment system will be honored for EDSA Busway passengers.
Those who have already bought or have existing beep cards may still use them for the payment of fares. Meanwhile, off board cash payment will be accommodated for those who have no card yet.
Cash payments will be collected by personnel from the EDSA Bus Consortia at the stations. These personnel will be wearing appropriate face shields, face masks, and gloves to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the EDSA Bus Consortia will look for another AFCS provider who can offer a better solution to the existing problem.
A meeting with other AFCS providers is scheduled for Tuesday morning, Oct. 6.