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LTFRB: Beep cards now free
The LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular 2020-057 for the free use of stored value cards for cashless transactions in public transportation, which means commuters will only have to pay for fares.
Boy Santos

LTFRB: Beep cards now free

Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - October 8, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Starting tomorrow, Beep cards will be given free of charge to commuters, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced yesterday.

The LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular 2020-057 for the free use of stored value cards for cashless transactions in public transportation, which means commuters will only have to pay for fares.

The transport regulatory body ordered operators of public utility vehicles (PUV) and automatic fare collection systems (AFCS) to scrap any fees for the purchase and loading of Beep cards.

“To alleviate the burden of the riding public, the board directs PUV operators and AFCS to remove fees for the purchase or use of Beep cards on top of the fare load,” the memorandum read.

Non-compliance among PUV operators would result in the cancelation of their cashless transaction schemes and other penalties in accordance with transport regulations, the LTFRB said.

The order does not cover rail lines due to an ongoing concession agreement with AFCS provider AF Payments, according to Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran.

AFCS providers on Tuesday met with LTFRB officials to discuss the matter after President Duterte had ordered that Beep cards be given free to commuters.

Passengers were caught off guard when they were required to pay P80 for each Beep card before being allowed to use the EDSA busway.

The government suspended the “no Beep card, no ride” policy on Monday after AF Payments refused to waive the fee.

AF Payments, in response, said it would issue 125,000 free Beep cards for EDSA busway commuters, which the government welcomed.

LTFRB technical division head Joel Bolaño earlier said the government was eyeing to make the stored value cards free in other bus routes and interoperable in other modes of transportation.

He said interoperability means that the Beep cards are readable even by another company’s AFCS.

Stored value cards should be used not only on the EDSA busway, but also in other bus routes as well as in train lines, modern jeepneys and other modes of transportation that require cashless transactions, according to Bolaño.

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