The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (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).
Under Memorandum Circular 2020-057 or the 'Removal of Fees of AFCS Cards Charged to Commuters Apart from Fare Load', the LTFRB stressed that all public utility vehicle (PUV) operators and AFCS providers must not charge commuters for the purchase/use of contactless cards. With it, operators are only allowed to collect the fare from commuters when they ride public transport.
PUVs that fail to follow the new order could face a suspension order of its AFCS, along with additional penalties that will be imposed on the operators themselves.
“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,” said Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
[That beep card should be free. That is why when our president said to give away for free, I was 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. We will make the beep card free]
The new order comes after the DOTr recently suspended the No Beep card, No Ride policy on the EDSA Busway following an issue with AF Payments Inc., the provider of the AFCS for the said busway. This ultimately led to AF Payments Inc. committing to giving 125,000 free Beep cards to EDSA Busway commuters.
With other PUVs using similar systems, the LTFRB wants to make sure that the PUV operators and their AFCS providers are not charging extra from commuters. The 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.