DOTr looking for other value card service providers

Robie de Guzman   •   October 6, 2020   •   160

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)

Toll Regulatory Board says no postponement of 100% cashless transactions

Marje Pelayo   •   December 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Toll Regulatory Board said it is not postponing the full implementation of cashless transactions though it acknowledged the glitches encountered with the surge of motorists during the long weekend.

But the agency said traffic situation improved on Wednesday (December 2) in expressways.

“Much better po ang kanilang [operation] ngayon, ganun po siguro birth pains po sa umpisa talagang nagkakaroon ng glitches ng problema. We will continue to monitor with the operators para ma-improve ang situations,” said the Board’s executive director Abe Sales.

Meanwhile, the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) removed the cash lanes it installed on Tuesday (December 1) and turned all lanes into RFID Only lanes.

Many motorists opted to have their RFID stickers installed at the toll way which resulted in heavy traffic due to the volume of vehicles passing through.

Also, some motorists had insufficent load in their RFID which added to the challenges apart from the technical glitches that motorists had to endure.

Still, the Toll Regulatory Board has no plans of postponing the full implementation of the new policy.

The agency said it gave the operators and motorists enough time to prepare and adjust to the new system.

“Ang gobyerno naman po ay nagbibigay ng konsiderasyon and that is why on top of the 3-month transition period, we gave from August to NOvember and the extension we granted from Novermber 1 to December 1 we have decided to implement a transition period from December 1 to January 11 and to still maintain RFID stickering lanes evan after that,” said DOTr ASec. Goddess Hope Libiran.

“We think the net effect will still be the same,” she added.

Instead of postponement, the DOTr ordered toll operators to establish additional off-site RFID installation areas in malls or gasoline stations.

The Board and toll operators remind motorists to make sure their RFID has enough load before going through the toll gate to avoid delays and causing inconvenience to other motorists. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

No penalty for motorists without RFID stickers until Jan. 11 — DOTr

Marje Pelayo   •   November 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The full implementation of cashless transactions in all major expressways in the country is all set for December 1.

This means all tollways will no longer accept cash payment in line with the government’s effort to curb the transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This is the reason why motorists are encouraged to secure RFID stickers as early as possible.

Motorists using the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) and the Cavite–Laguna Expressway (CALAEx) are required to have the Easy Trip RFID sticker.

Meanwhile, motorists plying the Skyway, South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway (NAIAx), Star Tollway and the Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX) are required to have the Autosweep RFID sticker.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified however, that the December 1 deadline is set only for tollway operators and it does not apply to motorists.

“Iyong pagkakabit po kasi ng RFID stickers ay magpapatuloy kahit matapos na ang December 2020 lalo na para doon sa mga first time toll users sa mga bagong sasakyan,” said DOTr ASec. Goddess Hope Libiran.

“Kung puno na ang slots sa online appointment systems doon ka po sa tollgate kakabitan,” she added.

The DOTr will have a transition period for motorists to have ample time to adapt to the system.

From December 1 to January 11, 2021, motorists without RFID stickers will not be penalized even if they pass the tollways.

“After January 11 hindi na po lahat ng lanes sa tollgate ay pwedeng maconvert na stickering lane. Maari lang po silang ma-tiketan kung sila po ay pipila doon sa RFID only lane lalo na kung sila ay magdudulot po ng aberya o ng abala dun sa mga sasakyan na nasa likuran nila,” Libiran said.

As the deadline approaches, the DOTr will intensify its RFID installation making it operational 24/7 aside from the online appointments and special lanes so that more motorists will be able to avail.

Meanwhile, tollway operators advised motorists to refrain from purchasing RFID stickers online to avoid problems and make sure the stickers are installed properly.

“We’re just imposing few more controls because ang pagkakabit ng sticker by the customers themselves. We also found out medyo prone to mistakes. Sa dami po ng klase ng sasakyan natin meron pa ring margin of error na pagdating po natin sa toll lane magkakaproblema,” reminded Atty Romulo Quimbo Jr, MPTC Chief Communications Officer.

DOTr train sector resumes operations Friday after TY Ulysses

Marje Pelayo   •   November 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — After completing and passing all systems checks conducted earlier today, operations of the MRT-3, LRT-1, LRT-2 and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) resumed today Friday (November 13).

This, after services were suspended due to the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) assured that all vital equipment such as tracks, signaling, power cables, overhead catenary and station equipment in each of the train systems were found to be functional and in good condition.

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