Filipino commuters can use Beep Cards when riding jeepneys – hopefully, soon.
“We have developed a beep card service that is affordable to jeepney operators and will surely be appreciated by commuters in Metro Manila who have already purchased 4 million beep cards,” according to Peter Maher, President of AF Payments, Inc., the Ayala-Metro Pacific consortium behind the Beep Card automated fare collection system.
“We are ready to support the Department of Transportation (DOTr)’s Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJ) modernization program,” he announced during yesterday’s 1st Philippine Auto Parts Expo (PhilAPEX) at the Philippine Trade Training Center, Pasay City.
Some 180,000 public utility jeepneys are in operation to date, comprising 57 percent of the total Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) in the country.
The DOTr’s modernization program is banning PUVs more than 15 years old from the road and replacing them with more environment-friendly, low-carbon and low-emission vehicles.
The Land Bank of the Philippines has already allocated a P1-billion credit facility to cover the replacement of some 650 jeepneys, which will cost around P1.4 million to P1.6 million per unit.
Notably, several of the modern jeepney prototypes on display at this week’s PhilAPEX event were furnished with a working beep™ card reader that employs a tap in-tap out scheme.
Passengers tap in upon riding, and tap out before alighting. The fare is calculated based on the distance traveled.
This was the first ever automated fare collection solution made for jeepneys.
The jeepney prototypes on exhibit are new models that already comply with the DOTr’s PUJ modernization mandate.
AF Payments, Inc. is a consortium of Metro Pacific, Investments Corp. (MPIC) and Ayala Corp. that provides contactless payment solutions in the Philippines through its integrated product and service offerings, thereby enhancing the transaction experience of every Filipino.
Its tap-to-pay system, the beep™ card, is available for use in all three elevated railways (LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3), select bus lines, CAVITEX, NLEX, and at select FamilyMart and Robinsons Movieworld branches.
The beep card is reloadable up to P10,000 and is valid for four years. Off-rail reloading options include select outlets of Bayad Center, SM Bills Payment, Villarica, Tambunting, FamilyMart and Circle K.
By Emmie V. Abadilla