Enabling cashless transactions in mass transport has become a priority due to COVID-19 and the the Department of Transportation said Thursday that was pushing to make the Beep Card free to commuters.
The cost of the physical card, P30 when purchased inside train station and P50 outside, could be better spent on loading the card or on other forms of transportation, said DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade.
The "No Beep, Bo Ride" policy for the EDSA Busway started on Thursday. The tap-and-go payment system was put in place prevent the physical exchange of coins and bills, which can contribute to COVID-19 infections.
Transport secretary Arthur Tugade met with key officials to discuss the extra cost for the Beep card. The officials unanimously agreed that commuters should be spared from the burden of having to pay more on top of the initial fare load.
According to DOTr's statement, AF Payments, Inc., the consortium composed of conglomerates Ayala Group and First Pacific Group handling the fare collecting card, was ordered to just "give the cards for free."
"Dapat libre ang card. Malaking bagay para sa mga ordinaryong manggagawa ang P30-P50 na ikakaltas para bayaran ang card ng Beep. Pasahe din ‘yun (The card should be free. It's a big thing for the everyday worker, to have to pay an extra P30 to P50 for a Beep card. That money could be used to pay fares.)," Tugade said.
Where can I use it?
The Beep card is valid for 4 years and can be used to pay fares in the LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3 train lines. Buses part of EDSA Busway system also collect fares via Beep. Some point-to-point buses and modern public utility vehicles and shuttles also utilize the card for fare collection.
How does it work?
Instead of handing your fare to the driver or conductor and waiting for change, the card is tapped on a fare a collection machine, which deducts the exact amount from the loaded credit. The card is reloadable.
Where can I get a Beep card?
Passengers can purchase Beep cards in LRT and MRT-3 stations and in all Metro Manila branches of FamilyMart. Commuters can also get one in bus terminals such as HM Transport in Alabang Town Center and Market! Market!; BGC Bus in EDSA, Market! Market! and Bonifacio One Technology Tower; and RRCG in Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 1, Greenbelt 5, Star Mall Alabang, and Starmall Shaw.
Where do I reload my Beep card?
Commuters can reload their Beep cards in LRT and MRT-3 stations, FamilyMart and Ministop branches, Bayan Center outlets and affiliates, or via Over-the-Air or OTA loading partners such as BPI, Eon by Unibank, Akulaku, and Justpayto.