Rail operators told to brace for Beep Cards shortage amid global chip woes

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2022 02:10 PM

A commuter lines up to top up or buy new Beep Cards in Caloocan City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file
A commuter lines up to top up or buy new Beep Cards in Caloocan City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA — The Department of Transportation on Friday told Public Transport Operators of rail lines — LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3 — to brace for an expected shortage of Beep Cards or stored-value cards as the global chip woes deepen.

Beep Cards are stored-value cards that can be reloadable via self-service kiosks. 

In a statement, the DOTr said the worldwide chip shortage has affected the production, distribution, and sale of cards to rail line commuters.

It directed all rail operators "to make the necessary adjustments in controlling the sale of [stored-value cards] in order to avoid untoward incidents and to allay fears of rail commuters." 

Beep Card holders are urged to "take care" of the stored-value cards, the DOTr added, saying more passengers are expected to avail of the cards as face-to-face classes resume.

The Transportation Department also said it is "finding alternative ways to solve the expected demand of beep cards when the rail transit system becomes fully normalized."

"Measures are in place to address the shortage and meet the demand of commuters for contactless cards even as the DOTr and its Beep Card provider continue to look for alternative ways such as the use of single journey tickets."

Beep Cards' provider AF Payments Inc. earlier said it was facing delays in the delivery of cards as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues. 

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