MANILA, Philippines – The automated fare collection system (AFCS) for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) lines will go live in May, the consortium behind the P1.7-billion ($37.93-million) public-private partnership (PPP) project announced Wednesday, March 25.
AF Payments Incorporated (AFI, formerly Automated Fare Collection Services, Incorporated), the consortium of Ayala Corporation and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) said the new service is set to go live via a ceremonial tap in May for LRT2.
This would be followed by MRT3 in June and LRT1 in July. All 3 railway lines will fully transition to the new system by the third quarter of 2015.
Old magnetic tickets would be decommissioned, to be replaced with contactless-based smart card technology. A centralized back officer will also be put up to apportion the revenues.
Work is in full swing to replace ticketing infrastructure at LRT2 and the MRT 3, where new gates are being installed at the Santolan station. The new gates will be placed either in front of or behind the existing gates for the MRT stations.
Delivery and installation of new ticket machines are also going on. AFI will supply and install a total of 731 gates, 138 ticket vending machines, 221 point of sale devices, and 44 station computers across the 3 railway lines.
AFI Chief Executive Officer Peter Maher said the consortium is moving forward aggressively with the project that aims to improve the passenger travel experience of Filipinos who ride these lines.
Patterned after mass rail transport payment systems in other countries, the AFI’s beepTM will be used for the new unified ticketing system.
AFI also ensured that the continuing improvement works will cause minimal disruption to the commuting experience of the train riders.
MRT3 is already implementing shorter operating hours on weekends for its rail repair works.
“We ask for the train ridership’s patience and cooperation as we undertake system upgrade-related work in the rail transit stations,” Maher said.
Once completed and the full system transition accomplished, train passengers can expect ticketing at LRT and MRT to be faster and more convenient, he added.
The MPIC-Ayala led AF Consortium bagged a 10-year contract from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to undertake the AFCS project in January 2013.
The consortium is composed of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, BPI Card Finance Corporation, and Globe Telecom Incorporated for the Ayala Group. MPIC group is composed of Meralco Financial Services Corporation and Smart. – Rappler.com
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