MANILA, Philippines – Beginning Saturday, August 8, magnetic cards will no longer be sold at the stations of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1.
This is in preparation for the rollout of the new contactless Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS).
Until the new system is operational, paper coupons will be used instead, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) said.
Users of the magnetic stored value tickets can refund the remaining value of their cards in all LRT1 stations from August 8 to 15.
Passengers can still use their old stored value cards to travel northbound from Vito Cruz station to Roosevelt station, LRTA spokesman Hernando Cabrera said.
The LRTA said the decommissioning of the current magnetic system is needed to begin the installation of new gates on the northbound direction of the LRT1.
This comes as the LRTA and AF Payments Incorporated held their public testing of the new tap-and-go ticketing scheme in stations of the LRT Line 2.
The pilot testing of the new system, which uses contactless beep cards, began on July 20 at the Legarda station of LRT2. The trial run has since been expanded to all stations of the LRT2 as of August 5.
In a statement on Thursday, August 6, AF Payments said that 67,000 beep cards have been sold over the last 18 days. The new single journey tickets have been used 460,000 times, and 150,000 successful top-ups have been reported.
“During the trial over the past couple of weeks, we were able to assess equipment performance in a real public usage and traffic scenario,” AF Payments chief operating officer Peter Maher said.
“The positive results we got from this trial give us and the LRTA the confidence to start roll-out activities on the southbound direction of LRT1 in the coming weeks,” he added.
DOTC’s first PPP project
The 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.
AF Payments Incorporated (formerly Automated Fare Collection Services, Incorporated), is the consortium of Ayala Corporation and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).
The consortium is supplying and installing a total of 731 gates, 138 ticket vending machines, 221 point of sale devices, and 44 station computers across the 3 rail lines. – Rappler.com