Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered DoTr rail and road sector officials to ensure the consortium which operates the automatic fare collection system in the Metro Manila rail systems and on the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue Busway to give for free the stored value cards or “Beep” cards to commuters once they buy load for the fare.
Tugade lamented that commuters who are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic still needed to shell out an additional P30 to P50 for the price of the Beep card on top of the initial fare load.
“The card should be free. We are still under quarantine measures. Workers who have just returned to work are the main users of the rail system and the Edsa Busway. The amount of P30-P50 that would be charged for the Beep card would be a big help to ordinary workers. They should be spared from the burden of having to pay the price of the Beep card on top of their fares,” Tugade said in a press release.
Tugade and senior officials of the DOTr met on Wednesday to discuss the issue of the Beep card cost which was being passed on to commuters, on top of the fare, or the stored value on the card.
The DOTr officials unanimously agreed the cost of the stored value card should not be passed to the commuters as the department ordered AF Payments, Inc., the consortium composed of conglomerates Ayala Group and First Pacific Group to just give the cards for free.
Commuters should also have the option to load the card with whatever amount he needs for the fare.
As part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease, the DOTr has ordered the enforcement of a cashless automatic fare collection scheme on public utility buses that ply the
Edsa Busway route starting Oct. 1.
The cashless fare collection scheme will be using the Beep card.
Aside from buses plying the Edsa Busway, the Beep card can be used to pay fares in LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3 train lines, and some point-to-point buses, as well as modern public utility vehicles.
Fare is deducted from the card once it is tapped at a fare collection machine.
The Edsa Busway, which became operational on July 1, covers bus stops along the middle lanes of Edsa. It runs from Monumento, Caloocan to Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
Passengers can purchase Beep cards in LRT and MRT-3 stations, in all Metro Manila branches of FamilyMart as well as in bus terminals such as HM Transport in Alabang Town Center and Market! Market!; BGC Bus in Edsa, Market! Market! and Bonifacio One Technology Tower; and RRCG in Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 1, Greenbelt 5, Star Mall Alabang, and Starmall Shaw.
The Beep card is valid for four years.
Commuters can reload their Beep cards in LRT and MRT-3 stations, FamilyMart and Ministop branches, outlets of Bayad Center and their affiliates, or via Over-the-Air or OTA loading partners such as BPI, Eon by Unibank, Akulaku, and Justpayto.