Delayed again: LRT-MRT unified ticket

Katerina Francisco

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Delayed again: LRT-MRT unified ticket
The rollout of the 'tap and go' ticketing system for the LRT2 was earlier pushed back last month due to end-to-end testing in all stations

MANILA, Philippines – The rollout of the new unified “tap and go” ticketing system for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) lines has been delayed once again. 

A statement posted on the official Twitter account of the new Beep smartcard said the implementation of the Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) will be postponed indefinitely.

“Due to the numerous technical and supply issues that have arisen which are needed to be resolved, we are indefinitely postponing the launch of the Beep cards until further notice,” the statement said.

“We do apologize for this inconvenience and hope for your kind understanding as we utilize this delay to further prepare the system.”

Last month, the rollout of the AFCS for the LRT Line 2 was pushed back as end-to-end testing was still ongoing in all stations.

The service was set to go live in May for LRT2, followed by the MRT3 in June and LRT1 in July.

All 3 railway lines will fully transition to the new system by September 2015, according to AF Payments Inc. (AFI, formerly Automated Fare Collection Services, Incorporated), the consortium of Ayala Corporation and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).

Earlier, AF Payments Inc. Chief Executive Officer Peter Maher said the company will soon announce the new date of the system’s implementation “after conducting satisfactory testing, inspection, and validation.”

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 new Beep card, which will be valid for 4 years, will be sold for P20, and can be reloaded with up to P10,000 in credits.

Once the new system goes live, passengers with remaining balance in their old stored value cards can have the amount carried over to the new cards.

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