The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Sunday suspended the mandatory use of the beep cards along Edsa busway, just two days after the cashless payment process was launched.
DOTr said suspension takes effect on Monday, Oct. 5, after AF Payments, Inc. (AFPI), provider of the cashless cards, failed to waive the additional cost of the fees for the beep cards.
“We are saddened by the refusal of AF Payments, Inc., the provider of the automatic fare collection system (AFCS) at the EDSA Busway, to waive the cost of the beep card despite consistent pleas made by the government. This would have made a big difference to the commuters, mostly daily wage earners who are the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the department said in a statement.
“Thus, starting Monday, 05 October 2020, we are suspending the mandatory use of beep cards at the EDSA Busway until the issue is resolved,” it added.
However, those who already have the cards can still use it for payment of bus fares, DOTr said.
For those who did not secure the cards, DOTr said personnel will collect fares at bus stations which will also follow proper health protocols.
“Meanwhile, off-board cash payment will be accommodated for those who have no card yet. Cash payments will be collected by personnel from the EDSA Bus Consortia at the stations. These personnel will be wearing appropriate face shields, face masks, and gloves to prevent the transmission of COVID-19,” read the statement.
DOTr, meanwhile, said the Edsa Bus Consortia will look for another card provider to address overpricing issues for the said card fare.
Previously, groups have called for the suspension of the cashless fare system after fare cards being sold at the Edsa busway were overpriced. They lamented that the card would be sold for P180—or P100 and only P80 load.