The Department of Transportation (DOTr) calls on the Beep card to suspend its mandated card payment system and fare load in the EDSA Busway, following the dismay of many commuters.
In a statement issued on Saturday, DOTr directed Beep card services provider AF Payments Inc. (AFPI) to end this policy as it just serves as an additional burden to the passengers that mainly consist of workforces braving the pandemic.
“These are, the ordinary commuters who are still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 and the strictly enforced community quarantines in their livelihood. Thus, they should be spared from this additional burden,” it read. “We call on the AFPI to view the card cost fee as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to help its clients endure the result of the pandemic.”
Cashless transactions were imposed by the DOTr and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to minimize contact and hopefully, reduce the risks posed by COVID-19. With the new system in place, commuters are now required to pay at least P70 to P100 for the Beep card alone.
Despite the backlash it prompted, DOTr clarifies that there are other AFPI providers and modes of cashless payment that are available.
“Should the AFPI refuse to cooperate by allowing the free use of the Beep card to commuters upon payment of the fare load, the DOTr will have suspend its use in the EDSA Busway to alleviate the burden of commuters,” DOTr ended.