The Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) efforts to shift to automated fare-collection systems (AFCS) amid the ongoing pandemic hasn’t been smooth-sailing if we’re being honest. That said, the agency is bent on finding new options on its quest to establish national standards for AFCS—it’s testing the use of debit and credit cards to pay for public-transport fare, for instance.
A move towards contactless transactions
Most recently, a proof-of-concept for a new system called Autopay was presented to the DOTr at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange. Autopay was developed by tech company DITO CME, and utilizes kiosks to enable contactless transactions. These kiosks can then be accessed to purchase single-journey trip tickets or to top up stored-value cards.
The system will also feature an e-wallet that seems to be accessible through a dedicated mobile app. Unfortunately, no specific details on this were disclosed yet, only that the new system will be available for sampling among a small group of commuters over the next few weeks.
In any case, you can check out photos of the actual demonstration below:
Here’s hoping that Autopay will really make it easier for the riding public if and when the system is finally operational, unlike the mandatory Beep card policy that caused chaos at the start of all this. It could be one of several fare-payment options, the agency says, adding that the AFCS national standards, once finalized, “shall enable an open and competitive environment among multiple [AFCS] providers.”
So, care to share your thoughts on the matter, commuters?