MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is eyeing the expansion of use of the contactless Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) to more stations of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT2), following the “success” of its trial run.
The trial run on Monday, July 20, enabled train riders to use the new contactless cards, initially made available at LRT2’s Legarda station and accepted at the train system’s new gates.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on Tuesday, July 21, that following the positive outcome of the trial run, the agency is now eyeing to expand the new ticketing scheme to the other LRT2 stations in the next two weeks. The agency targets to activate the system in all 11 stations of LRT2.
“The response we got from commuters was very positive. They are as excited as we finally have a tap-and-go system just like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan,” Abaya said.
The DOTC has lined up the activation of the remaining stations in the following order:
- Betty Go-Belmonte
- J. Ruiz
- V. Mapa
Abaya added that only few glitches were encountered during the trial run – “all minor and unsurprising considering that we are still testing the system.”
“So we have two weeks to work on the 10 remaining stations and to address the minor glitches encountered. As always, we look forward to receiving more feedback from passengers,” he added.
Minor glitches involved the ticket vending machines (TVMs), such as the rejection of old and very crumpled peso bills. No major issues were experienced at the new turnstiles, the DOTC added.
DOTC and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) assure the public that project concessionaire AF Payments, Incorporated (AFPI) will work on the glitches encountered, as the new system is refined further throughout the limited public trial.
DOTC’s first public-Private Partnership (PPP) project made LRT2 the first Philippine commuter train to implement the smart card technology for its ticketing system.
Under this ongoing testing phase, a limited number of new single journey and stored value tickets branded as beep cards will initially be sold for P20.00 ($0.44) at the project’s activated stations. Commuters may purchase them from the TVMs and designated windows.
The minimum amount that the system requires to be loaded is P12 ($0.26), and the maximum is P10,000 ($220.71).
The new tickets may be used to exit from any LRT2 station, and may be reloaded at any of these locations as well.
DOTC, LRTA, and AFPI personnel are present at each of the train system’s stations to assist passengers in familiarizing themselves with the new ticketing technology. – Rappler.com
$1 = P45.31