DOTr defends jeepney modernization program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 25, 2020   •   542

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has defended the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) Modernzation Program, saying it does not favor the rich but the commuters.

In a social media post, the DOTr said the PUV Modernization Program will benefit the drivers as they would have a salary with fixed working hours, as well as benefits from the Social Security System (SSS) . The program also aims to remove the ‘boundary system’, and lessen air pollution.

“Sa PUV Modernization, hindi lang makina, kalidad, o disenyo ng jeep ang binabago. Binabago dito ang nakagawiang sistema ng mga jeepney drivers at commuters, (The PUV Modernization will not just change the quality, design, and the machine of jeepneys. It will also change the old system of drivers and commuters),” the post read.

The DOTr said the government already gave jeepney operators a three-year transition period for them to have a proper fleet management. The department also reiterated that as long as the traditional jeepney passes the road worthiness standards, it will still be allowed to operate.

“Kahit hindi bago o traditional jeepney pa iyan, kung papasa naman sa road worthiness standards, papayagan pa rin po iyang tumakbo, (Even if it is a traditional jeepney, it will be allowed to operated if it passes the road worthiness standards),” the department said. AAC

DOTr looking for other value card service providers

Robie de Guzman   •   October 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday said it is now looking for other automated fare collection system providers following the suspension of the mandatory use of Beep cards in the EDSA Busway.

The DOTr said it wants value card service providers that can give value cards to passengers in lower price or free of charge.

The value cards should also be interoperable or can be used in other forms of public transport.

According to Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddess Hope Libiran, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has met with other service providers to discuss proposals about the implementation of cashless transactions.

“Yung direction ni Secretary Tugade dito at ng DOTr yung cashless transactions should be able to operate on an integrated manner and it should be inter-operable before the end of this year. So, that is the target,” she said.

“Ang sabi ni Secretary Tugade there should be no monopoly and we need to open the automated fare collection system to all providers but they should be able to integrate and operate the system for free,” she added.

Aside from value cards, the DOTr is also looking into the use of QR code-based electronic ticketing system on the EDSA Busway.

The suspension of the mandatory use of Beep cards came after its provider, AF Payments Inc. refused the DOTr’s request to cut the fee of Beep cards alone.

The AF Payments Inc., however, offered to give away 125,000 Beep cards free of charge to commuters who cannot afford one.

The DOTr welcomed the move but it still insists that the value cards should be given for free.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in a public address late Monday night, said the Beep cards should be provided for free, adding that he will look for resources to fund the subsidized cards. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

125,000 Beep cards to be given away free to EDSA Busway commuters

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 6, 2020

AF Payments Inc. (AFPI), the operator of Beep card, will be giving away 125,000 free cards to EDSA Busway commuters who cannot afford one.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), in a statement, lauded AFPI for its decision to give commuters free Beep cards until a QR-based electronic ticketing system becomes operational.

“We thank AFPI for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and for considering the plight of our commuters who have just started to rebuild back their lives after a series of strict quarantine measures that put pressure both on their social lives and livelihoods. For them, every centavo counts,” the statement read.

The decision comes after the suspension of the ‘No Beep Card, No Entry’ policy which was first implemented last October 1.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Department said they are also reviewing the possible implementation of the QR code-based electronic ticketing system on the EDSA Busway.

“With the use of a smartphone app and/or through online, passengers of vessels can now buy virtual tickets. As this is a contactless technology, commuters are best assured of proper social distancing needed to prevent transmission of the coronavirus,” the DOTr said. AAC

Transport group questions ‘No Beep Card, No Ride’ policy

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 2, 2020

A transport group is questioning the ‘No Beep Card, No Ride’ policy which mandates commuters to have their own beep card with a secured maintaining balance to use the EDSA Busway.

Laban Konsyumer appealed to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to suspend the policy until the end of the year. The group’s president Vic Dimaguiba said the department should first clarify the policy, especially when purchasing the cards and maintaining balance.

Iyon po kasing sinasabi na kailangan may remaining balance na 65 pesos that’s a new policy. Ang pinaka-mahalaga po pag-aralan nila ay class ng consumer na gagamit ng beep card sa mga buses (What they say about having the remaining balance of 65 pesos, that’s a new policy. The most important thing they need to review is the class of consumers using beep cards in buses),” he said.

The Chief Commercial Officer of the AF Payments Inc. Sharon Fong, said the maintaining balance is needed in order for operators not to have income losses.

Imagine this scenario if we do not do that and iyong pasahero pays for the lowest fare and ita-tap niya lang is 10 pesos and he took the farthest fare malulugi naman po ang operators (Imagine this scenario if we do not do that and the passenger pays for the lowest fare and only tapped 10 pesos and he took the farthest fare, the operators will sustain losses),” she said.

Meanwhile, the DOTr clarified the difference between Beep Cards and cards used in Beep Rides. In a statement, the DOTr said Beep Cards are used in EDSA Busways, MRT, and LRT while Beep Ride Cards are used in modern jeepneys.

“What that PUV operator is selling is different from the Beep Card (Not Beep Rides Card) being used at the EDSA Busway / MRT / LRT. The actual beep card is interoperable with MRT and LRT. Beep Rides is a totally different company offering AFCS and has totally nothing to do with Beep by AF Payments,” the statement reads. -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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