The Department of Transportation (DOTr), through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), will begin implementation of a fully cashless transaction system using BeepTM Cards on public utility buses (PUBs) of the EDSA Busway System starting October 1.
According to DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Steve Pastor, the move was part of the agency’s added safety measures to reduce the spread of the virus associated with cash-handling in public transport.
“We want to ensure that commuters along EDSA will have a safer and comfortable travel, while at the same time providing them a more seamless and efficient system of public transport,” said Pastor. “This will also complement other safety and health protocols already enforced by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on PUVs, such as the required social distancing, and mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields to board.”
At the same time, the LRTFB is urging EDSA Busway patrons to purchase their Beep cards and to buy or put load in the cards to avoid inconveniences in payment once the automated fare collection system is implemented.
“As we are removing other potential health risks, we also want to limit the time spent in queues and lines that come with having to do cash payments,” said LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra. “We are envisioning that even more public transport vehicles adopt digital transactions means, either through QR codes, online payments or tying up with cashless payment providers such as Beep.”
Beep cards are stored-value contactless cards that provide easier, modern, and more convenient ways of paying for the ride. Fare is deducted from the card upon tapping at its fare collection machine. This system is also used in Metro Manila’s three elevated railways which are the LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3 and by a number of Point-to-Point (P2P) buses and modern Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) nationwide.
To load the BeepTM cards, passengers can go to any LRT and MRT stations, FamilyMart and Ministop branches, Bayad Center and their affiliates, or via Over-the-Air (OTA) loading partners such as BPI, Eon by Unibank, Akulaku, and Justpayto.
The EDSA Busway is a joint project of the DOTr, LTFRB and MMDA, with the vision to transport commuters from Monumento to PITX, through a deficated median bus lane, within a significantly lower travel time (3 hours to just less than an hour). It began its operations last July 1.
This program is also part of the DOTr’s call to boost digital and cashless transactions among transportation service providers nationwide and the overall public transport system in the country.