The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Monday that it is eyeing to create a system where commuters will only need to use a single mobility card for all modes of transportations.
In an interview with ANC, Secretary Arthur Tugade said the DOTr has been continuously exploring possibilities of cashless transactions, and among these is the one-card system.
“The system allows you to use one card, and it can be interoperable with other modes of transport,” Tugade said.
The DOTr chief said he also plans to open the production of the transportation cards to “multiple players.”
“Para sa gayon walang kontrolado, parang sa ganon, ang option kung anong card ang gagamitin ay nasa pasahero (In that case, nobody has control, and the option to choose which card to use is with the commuters),” he said.
The DOTr chief said that if it were up to him, he would like to have a one-card system for different modes of transportation by the “end of the year.”
Tugade said the DOTr has already been eyeing cashless transactions in transportation services even before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the “occurrence of the pandemic accelerated” the agency’s plan.
The mandatory use of cashless transactions on passenger buses at the EDSA Busway was halted by the DOTr on Monday after the AF Payments Inc. (AFPI) refused to waive the cost of its Beep cards despite consistent pleas made by the government.
Commuters who have Beep cards could still use it at the EDSA Busway, while those who do not have could pay in cash, Tugade said.
The “No Beep Card, No Ride” policy was fully enforced by the DOTr on Oct.1 in a bid to avoid or at least minimize physical interaction in public transport to reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure. (with a report from Alexandria Dennise San Juan)