A transport cooperative operating solar electric jeepneys in Las Pinas provided 25,735 passengers with cashless cards worth P30 each, at promo rates, both for the load and the card.
The South Metro Transport Cooperative (SMTC), which plies the Alabang to Zapote route, initiated the “limited promotional rate” to educate commuters about cashless transactions amid the pandemic, explained its Chairman, Jun Saw.
“We decided to push for a 100 per cent cashless system to prevent the spread of the virus among public transport,” he noted.
SMTC used to operate with both cash and card, but by June they started the fully cashless system.
“To make it more affordable for our passengers, we removed the payment for the card itself and lowered the minimum load to 30 pesos,” according to the chairman.
“With the promo, passengerd only pay 30 pesos, and get to have the card with a load of 30 pesos.”
SMTC ran the promo from June 29 to August 3 but has since returned to their original price of 60 pesos which includes the card and thirty pesos load.
The “green cards” being sold by the cooperative is issued by Innov8 Green, a subsidiary of Star 8 Green Technology Corporation, the same manufacturer behind the low-carbon units of SMTC.
The sales from the promo made up more than half of the total amount sold by the cooperative since they began using an Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) developed by Star8 chief operating officer Nathaniel Kremer in April 2019, says Lino Pastoral, Star8 Fleet Manager.
SMTC made it easier for commuters to purchase the cards by having booths available at the terminal and the city hall of Las Pinas, as well as in designated drop-off points and from the drivers themselves.
The cooperative also offered a discount card for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
“We continue to educate the people on how to properly use their green cards and the benefits of going
cashless,” Pastoral noted.
“On the cooperative’s part, it’s not a hassle at all to operate the system. The machines in our units not only collect and read the fare, they also record the time in and time out of drivers, analyze traffic situation, tally passenger count, and even have heatmaps signaling which areas in our route has passengers.”
“For the commuters, it is safer since there is no direct contact between them and the drivers,” he added.
“It is also more convenient that they no longer have to look for spare change. They just have one card to hold the money which they can also treat as a fare tracker for fare expenses.”
Furthermore, drivers only have to focus on passenger safety since they are no longer distracted with collecting payments.
The Libra Jeepney Operator and Transport Cooperative, plying the route of Punta, Sta. Ana to Quiapo, also provided a two-week promo for their tap cards, sold for P20 each.
The cash system protect drivers and passengers from contracting the virus, Chairman Estela Buensuceso reiterated.
It also helped in monitoring the drivers’ daily income.
The Office of Transport Cooperative (OTC) recently lauded the two cooperatives for enforcing the “No Card, No Ride” policy.