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Beep cards now accepted in Citylink buses

MANILA, Philippines – Following most of its neighbors, the Philippines will now have a bus line that uses contactless smart cards for payment of distance-based fares.

On Thursday, March 23, AF Payments Incorporated, a consortium of the Ayala and First Pacific groups that provides contactless payments solutions, announced its partnership with Citylink, the first bus company in the Philippines to accept payment via Beep cards.

Beep cards are reloadable contactless smart cards aimed to replace magnetic card-based system in paying public transportation fares in and around Metro Manila.

Commuters can now use their Beep cards in Citylink buses plying Newport City in Pasay City to Eastwood City in Quezon City and vice-versa.

"Citylink is the first bus company to have an automated fare collection system that computes for distance-based fare,” AF Payments Spokesperson Tere Ancheta said in a statement.

AF Payments has also partnered with Bonifacio Global City (BGC) Bus and Froehlich Tours for its premium point-to-point (P2P) bus systems.

Motorists passing through the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) can also use Beep cards for payment.

First of many

Beep cards were first introduced in all 3 elevated railways in Metro Manila – Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1), LRT Line 2, and Metro Rail Transit Line 3. The reloadable card sells for P20, and is  valid for 4 years.

"We’ll be implementing this scheme in most of our upcoming bus partnerships," Ancheta said.

Citylink buses are equipped with a global positioning system (GPS) to determine the precise station a passenger gets in and alights. Citylink’s C5 route buses operate from Mondays to Saturdays, starting at 6 am. They carry about 1,500 passengers per day on weekdays.

Passengers are required to tap their Beep card twice – once upon getting on the bus and again before alighting – so the card reader can compute for the correct fare. For this route – Newport City in Pasay City to Eastwood City in Quezon City and vice-versa – it’s P39.

"We are very excited to roll out this new system to our Citylink Buses. With this breakthrough innovation, we hope to serve more people going to and from our townships," Arnie Batac, head of estate management of Megaworld Corporation, the company that operates Citylink in its various township developments in Metro Manila, said.

Beep cards can be reloaded at FamilyMart outlets and select branches of Bayad Center, SM Bills Payment, Villarica, and Tambunting. – Rappler.com