Amid complaints over Beep card price hike, DOTr says fares are unchanged

January 4, 2020 - 2:21 PM
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LRT-1 train wagons (Philstar.com/Miguel de Guzman)

The reported price increase for issuance of Beep cards will not affect train fare rates, the Department of Transportation explained as commuters raised concern over the issue.

This was after the Light Rail Transit Authority on January made the announcement that reloadable cards used for the train system and some bus rides are now 50% more expensive, from P20 to P30.

The announcement, however, confused some commuters who thought that LRT-1, LRT-2 and MRT-3 rides are also affected.

DOTr Press Statement3 January 2020On the matter of the BEEP card issue, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) would…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Thursday, January 2, 2020

 

DOTr later clarified the announcement on its Facebook account:

“1. There is NO INCREASE in actual Fare of LRT-1, LRT-2 and MRT-3.

2. The increase that was reflected is the charge in the issuance fee of the Beep Stored Value Card.”

The price increase for the cards complies with the concession agreement between the DOTr and AF Payments Inc., the operator of the Beep card tap-and-go payment system, signed back on March 31, 2014.

AF Payments Inc., composed of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp., is the consortium behind the production of Beep cards.

Part of the 2014 concession agreement read:

“Any Stored Value Card distributed by the Concessionaire after 31 December 2019 shall be charged an issuance fee of not more than P30.”

The DOTr also assured the public that the rest of the provisions of the agreement are still in review.

“A report will be provided to the public soonest on our evaluation and review,” the agency said.

Commuters have been airing their frustration online over the new cost of the cards given the overall poor public transportation system.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

One train rider hoped that the new cards to be released will no longer malfunction, particularly during rush hours.

Screenshot by Interaksyon

The government introduced the use of beep cards in 2015 as replacement for the previous magnetic tickets.

These cards are now used in all three train systems LRT-1, LRT-2 and MRT-3, as well as some bus systems and in making purchases at select retail outlets.

Expiring Beep cards can be extended for P10

In a statement on Friday, AF Payments Inc. announced that cards expiring this year can be renewed for another year for P10. “Beep cardholders do not have to buy a new card or worry about losing their card load when their current card expires,” the statement read.

Concessionary beep cards, or those for senior citizens and PWDs, meanwhile, can be extended for free.

Cardholders, however, have to urgently extend the validity of their expiring cards or recently expired cards. The Beep card company only accepts cards 6o days prior to and 60 days after the expiration date.

Moreover, cards with less than P10 balance and blacklisted cards are not eligible for the program.