The “no Beep card, no ride” policy in Edsa Busway will remain suspended while looking for another automatic fare collection system provider that can offer cheaper service, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Tuesday.
In a statement, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran noted AF Payment Inc.’s (AFPI) offer to give away 125,000 Beep cards for free but the department is still opening doors for other payment providers that would not impose additional fees on Beep card users.
“We will decide on this in due time. But as of now, the no beep card, no ride policy is still suspended. We open our doors to other providers,” Libiran said.
She said the move to look for other cashless payment providers aims to avoid a monopoly, noting providers must also be ready for integration and interoperability with other payment providers.
“Their systems should be open and ready for integration and interoperability. [DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade] also noted that charges in operating the system must not be shouldered by commuters,” Libiran said.
In an interview over CNN-Philippines, Tugade discussed the possibility of regulating the cashless payment providers in public transport as part of the oversight function of the DOTr.
“Naniniwala ho ako na pwede ho kaming maglagay ng mga regulasyon, patakaran at panuntunan, upang sa ganoon, ay magkaroon ng plataporma na ‘yung Beep card ay libre (I believe we can create a regulation, rules, or guidelines so we can have a platform where a payment card is free),” Tugade said.
Tugade said the DOTr has yet to accept AFPI’s offer to give away 125,000 Beep cards.
“Sabi ko, pag in-accept niyo ngayon ‘yan, baka mai-stall tayo. Dapat ‘wag ninyong i-accept ‘yan (I said, if you accept their offer, we might get stalled. You shouldn’t accept that),” Tugade said.
He said all the proposals should be studied first including the offer of AFPI. (PNA)