Beep card price hike catches DOTr by surprise: official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2020 09:12 AM | Updated as of Oct 05 2020 09:19 AM

Commuters line up to top up or buy new Beep Cards in Caloocan City as the EDSA Bus Carousel implements a "no Beep card, no ride" police starting Oct. 1, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Transportation did not know that Beep cards were being sold at a higher price on the first day of the "No Beep card, no ride" policy in public buses on October 1, a transportation official said Monday.

"Hindi namin alam na in-increase nila no'ng mismong implementation nang mandatory use ng cards," Transportation Assistant Secretary Alberto Suansing told Teleradyo.

(We didn't know they increase the price on the day of the implementation of the mandatory use of cards.)

Some Metro Manila commuters, who are still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, complained when the "No Beep card, no ride" policy was implemented on Oct. 1 for EDSA Busway System. 

They lamented that the cards were sold at an exorbitant price of P180, which includes a P100 load. The Beep cards were previously priced at P50.

Amid growing clamor to reconsider the policy, the agency had suspended the mandatory use of Beep cards for EDSA buses starting Monday, Oct. 5.

"Sinabi namin sa consortia na ayusin ang problemang 'yan the soonest time possible," Suansing said.

(We told the consortia to solve the problem the soonest time possible.)

AF Payments Inc. (AFPI), a consortium of conglomerates Ayala Group and First Pacific Group, is the company behind the tap-and-go cards.

Commuters who don't have a card yet can pay their fare in cash at the bus stations as a dual payment system will now be honored.

Suansing also told commuters to keep their cards as they were in talks with the system provider of possibly refunding passengers.

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