Tap-and-pay Beep Cards should be made free to commuters to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said Monday, after commuters complained over the cost of the ticket.
The "No Beep No Ride" policy on the EDSA Busway was suspended for five days to give way to talks between transport authorities and the Beep Card system provider, AF Payments, Tugade said. For now, commuters can pay in cash or through Beep.
The EDSA Busway, which runs parallel to the MRT, initiated the "No Beep No Ride" on Oct. 1. The card, according to a Manila Bulletin report, cost P80 each. Add to this the P100 load, P5 convenience fee for third-party reloads and the P65 maintaining balance.
"The cost of the card, dapat libre (should be free)," Tugade told Headstart on ANC. "At the end of the day, everything will be settled and will dettel down for the benefit of the riding public."
Tugade said AF Payments should practice "corporate social responsibility." The company is a joint venture between the Ayala Group and Manuel Pangilinan's Metro Pacific. It's the same Beep Card used on the MRT and LRT lines.
The transport chief said he was "shocked" at the cost of the Beep Cards. "Pandemya ngayon, masakit sa bulsa, masakit sa damdamin ng riding public yan (We are in a pandemic and that is painful to the hearts and wallets of the riding public)."
One option is to look for an alternative to AF Payments as service provider for the EDSA Busway, he said.
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