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LTFRB official memo: Beep cards are now FREE

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced yesterday that commuters will no longer be charged for beep cards starting today, October 9.
One less worry for Filipino commuters (Photo by Boy Santos from Philippine Star)

To ease the burden of the riding public

After the clamor about the and the dismay of the passengers because of the required PHP 80 charge for each beep card, it all ends well.

LTFRB has ordered the removal of fees for acquiring Beep Cards or any similar card-based system that uses an Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS). The agency issued Memorandum Circular 2020-057 for the free use of stored value cards for cashless transactions in public transportation. This simply means commuters will only have to pay for their fares.

If the PUVs did not abide with the new regulation, they could be punished with a suspension. Aside from that, failure to follow will mean additional penalties on the operators. Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade even added,

Dapat 'yang beep card na 'yan ay libre. Kaya nga ba’t noong sinabi ng ating pangulo na ipamigay ng libre, ako ho ay strengthened and emboldened to make sure that the pronouncement which I have made, and the mandate of the President, will be given life and will be given reality. Gagawin po nating libre 'yung beep card.

This new order was implemented after the DOTr suspended the "No Beep card, No Ride" policy on the EDSA Busway routes. There was an issue with AF Payments Inc., the provider of the AFCS for the said busway. After that, they arrived at a solution that the company will provide 125,000 free Beep cards to EDSA Busway commuters.

According to LTFRB technical division head Joel Bolaño, stored value cards are also valid in other bus routes as well as in train lines, modern jeepneys and other modes of transportation that require cashless transactions. With that in mind, the agency wants to ensure that the PUV operators and their AFCS providers are not charging extra for the beep cards.

Both LTFRB and the DOTr hope that they will be able to have a unified automated fare collection system that can be used by commuters on trains, buses, modern PUVs, taxis, and even ferries in the future.

Do you guys agree? Any thoughts on this issue?

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