Commuters that have had to switch using Beep cards last week on the EDSA Busway can now switch back to using cash. This comes after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently announced that starting today, October 5, they have suspended the use of the cards amidst controversies of cost to the riding public.
The suspension of the cashless form of payment stemmed from an issue wherein AF Payments Inc., the provider of the automatic fare collection system (AFCS), refused to waive the cost of the Beep cards despite pleas from the Department of Transportation.
There was also a widespread outcry from commuters as they were forced to pay PhP 180 amidst already difficult times. The PhP 180 is divided between PhP 80 for the card itself and PhP 100 for the initial load of the card.
With the use of Beep cards on the EDSA Busway temporarily suspended, the DOTr said that a dual payment system will be used for EDSA Busway passengers. Those that have already bought their Beep cards may still use them for paying their fares. Meanwhile, cash payments will be honored for those that have no Beep cards yet. All cash payments will be collected by personnel from the EDSA Bus Consortia at the stations. All personnel will be wearing face shields, face masks, and gloves to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With AF Payments Inc. refusing to waive the cost of the new Beep cards, the EDSA Bus Consortia has stated that they are now looking for another AFCS provider that can offer a better solution to the current issue. The DOTr is set to meet with other AFCS providers this Tuesday, October 6.
As the country adjusts itself to the new normal, not having to pay extra to get a Beep card to ride the EDSA Busway can make all the difference. But until the DOTr can find another provider that can waive the fees for a cashless card system, paying with cash to ride the EDSA Busway will still be the way to go.