(Feature)How far can Beep Card really help in easing LRT-MRT transport problems?

October 7, 2015 10:15 am 

By Lily O Ramos

MANILA, Oct. 5 (PNA)– Catching the train for Makati if you are within Quezon City is a very tough problem, particularly at the North Avenue where at least three very long lines are formed even before 5 a.m.

And so with the LRT line from Caloocan to Quiapo ending in Baclaran.

When a train comes late by more than five minutes or even more due to defects, repair and the lessened number of wagons, crowds just become unbearably tight during and even after rush hours.

Competing against around 1.5 million commuters every LRT and MRT are such a bad hassle, a rider is tired, sweaty and irritable by the time he/she reaches destination and late for work at that.

Another problem is transferring from LRT to MRT is such a daily pain for thousands who brave the two lines.

Monday morning at 7 a.m. when we got off from North Ave. route to Ayala, AF Payments Inc., in partnership with the DOTC, MRT3, LRMC and LRTA, announced that train riders can now enjoy one of the key features of the beepTM card, its interoperability across all three train lines.

An advertising executive explained to us that the beepTM card, which was first used in LRT 2 on July 20 of this year, followed by its use in LRT 1 on Aug. 16, was launched in MRT 3 on Oct. 3, completing its full implementation and acceptance in all stations of all three train lines in Metro Manila.

“One of the objectives of the unified automated fare collection system when it was envisioned by the DOTC was to provide a seamless transfer from one line to another.

"We hope that the beepTM card’s interoperability feature will offer some improvement to the overall commuting experience of the Filipino,” said AF Payments Inc. CEO and President Peter Maher.

Maher quickly said that work is far from done.

“Our technical and operations team will now focus on ensuring that feedback from the Train operators and the riding public are being consolidated, reviewed and assessed to see how the company can further improve the system.

"We will continue to work hard to ensure that all the equipment, from the gates to the TVMs and the POS computers, are well maintained,”said Maher.

The pre-selling of beep cards last week in key MRT stations, a total of 50,000 beepTM cards were sold.

Last week, a milestone was also reached when total sales to date of beepTM cards crossed the 500,000 mark.

As part of their commitment to provide a new payment option for the Filipino on the go, AF Payments Inc. is also working on new partnerships with key retailers.

Maher said riders can expect to see new loading and acceptance points outside the stations in the coming months.

Could Beep cards solve the LRT and MRT transfer problems? That remains to be seen.(PNA)

CTB/LOR

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