Following complaints of price discrepancies and hikes to purchase Beep cashless payment cards, an official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday clarified that the payment system was chosen by bus operators but said they would ask Beep to provide the cards for free.
In a message, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the Mega Manila Consortium, the group consisting of bus operators of the Edsa Busway, was allowed to choose their preferred automatic fare collection system as indicated in past directives by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
“I understand pinili po ng Mega Manila Consortium ang Beep because may interconnectivity ito sa rails (I understand the Mega Manila Consortium chose Beep for interconnectivity with the rail sector),” Libiran said.
Following the enforcement of the “no Beep card, no ride” for city buses along Edsa, passengers complained of a price hike on Beep cards, which now cost from PHP70 to PHP100, excluding the load or stored value.
Libiran said the DOTr would speak with the operator of the Beep card payment system and seek to have the cards provided for free.
“Nasa pandemic nga tayo ngayon. Hindi dapat inaabuso ‘yang presyo ng Beep card. Libre dapat yan basta bibili ka ng may kasamang load (We’re in the middle of a pandemic. They should not abuse the price of Beep cards. That should come free for those who will buy the load),” she said.
Libiran said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered road and rail sector officials to ensure that the cards be given to commuters free-of-charge.
“Ayaw po ni Secretary Tugade na may bayad ang purchase ng Beep card. Dapat libre lang ito kapag bibili ka ng load, kahit na minimum lang ang bibilhin mo (Secretary Tugade doesn’t want payment for Beep cards alone. If someone buys stored value, the card should be included even for the minimum amount),” she said.
Earlier, the DOTr said it has ordered AF Payments, Inc., the consortium composed of the Ayala Group and First Pacific Group, to give Beep cards for free and let commuters have the option to purchase load in any amount.
Source: Philippines News Agency