By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, July 19 (PNA) — Passengers taking the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) will be the first to pilot test and use the new ‘beep cards’, which will be used to unify the railway ticketing system on Monday (July 20).
According to the Department of Transportation and Communications, a limited number of beep cards which can be either single journey and stored value tickets will initially be sold for Php 20 at the Legarda station of LRT-2.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya in a statement expressed excitement on the conducting of the pilot test and on receiving feedback from passengers to further improve the new ticketing system as needed.
“We believe that Filipinos are always eager for new technology, so we look forward to providing them with this tap-and-go system,” the DOTC chief said.
He also explained how the new ticketing system will only improve the commuting experience for train riders, it will also usher in a culture of cashless transactions across different industries
“It is fitting that the first transport PPP (Public-Private Partnership) introduces new technology into our society, as our goal in DOTC is to modernize the country’s transport systems and catch up with our more advanced neighbors,” Abaya said.
“To get it right, we need to go through testing first, with the goal of getting feedback from our passengers,” he added.
AFPI aims to expand the testing phase to other stations of LRT-2 until all of its stations are fully equipped to sell, accept, and process the beep cards over the following weeks.
However, the transition period is needed to identify any possible bugs in the system and to familiarize passengers with the new system.
According to the DOTC, commuters may purchase the beep cards at designated windows and at two ticket vending machines (TVM) located inside the station.
The new tickets may be used to exit from any LRT-2 station, and may be reloaded at any of these locations as well. The minimum amount that the system requires to be loaded is Php 12, and the maximum is Php 10,00
Personnel from the project’s concessionaire, AF Payments Inc. (AFPI), will be present at LRT-2 stations to assist passengers who participate in the testing.
They have been conducting a pre-trial information campaign since last week, introducing the new tickets, gates, and TVMs to the 25,000 passengers who use the Legarda station daily.
The tap-and-go ticketing system is expected to shorten queuing time for the riding public. It is also DOTC’s first PPP project under the Aquino administration. (PNA)