MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) at the Light Rail Transit line 2 will be pushed back from the original announcement that it would be ready starting this month.
In a statement released Monday, May 25, AF Payments Inc. (AFI, formerly Automated Fare Collection Services, Incorporated), the consortium of Ayala Corporation and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) announced the delay, citing continuing end-to-end testing in all stations.
The new service was 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 September 2015. The system using the AFI’s beepTM card would also cover the Philippine National Railways (PNR).
The new system will use contactless smart card technology to upgrade and integrate the ticketing infrastructure for the country’s major railways. 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.
“The ongoing testing is aimed at further strengthening the operational readiness of the new system originally scheduled to go live at LRT2 this May,” AF Payments Inc. Chief Executive Officer Peter Maher said in a statement.
The consortium added that while it is keen on introducing the modern ticketing system that will improve the traveling experience of commuters of the LRT and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), “it is taking all necessary measures in addressing technical issues to ensure full system acceptance and customer satisfaction.”
“We will determine and announce when the new system will go live at LRT2 after conducting satisfactory testing, inspection, and validation,” Maher said.
AFI asked for the continued patience and understanding of train commuters.
“We remain committed to the on-time deployment of a new, reliable, and unified rail ticketing system in the Philippines,” Maher said in a statement.
AFI 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
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