The Department of Transportation has ordered the suspension of stored value cards or “Beep” cards in EDSA Busway starting Monday, October 5, until further notice.
This development followed after the refusal of Beep card service provider AF Payments, Inc. (AFPI) to waive the ₱80 cost of the card on top of the fare load.
“We are saddened by the refusal of AF Payments, Inc…to waive the cost of the beep card despite consistent pleas made by the government,” the DOTr said in a statement.
“This would have made a big difference to the commuters, mostly daily wage earners who are the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to the mandatory use of the cards shall be suspended until the “issue is resolved.”
The agency said a dual payment system will be temporarily observed for EDSA Busway passengers. Those who already have existing Beep cards may still use them, but cash payments will also be accepted by personnel from the EDSA Bus Consortia at the stations.
Prior to this announcement, Vice President Leni Robredo manifested that the government could shoulder the payment of Beep cards and their initial fare load to ease the burden on commuters.
“Yung mga indigent dapat binigyan na lang ng Beep card, initial load ng ₱100 para sa susunod ikaw na lang maglo-load at napapag-ipunan.”
[Indigents should have received the Beep cards for free, along with an initial load of ₱100 so that the next time, they would have enough savings to load it themselves.]
Commuters earlier criticized the DOTr’s “no Beep card, no ride policy” due to the lack of proper information dissemination ahead of its implementation.