Things are starting to get a bit messy along EDSA. Not because of heavy traffic, but because of the whole automatic fare-collection system (AFCS) policy that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is requiring for the EDSA Busway.
Following all the hullabaloo last week—specifically over long lines and card costs—the DOTr warned that it will be suspending the AFCS if its service provider, AF Payments Inc. (AFPI), fails to remove the initial payment required for its Beep card.
Now, the DOTr announces that AFPI has refused to accommodate the request. According to the agency’s statement, the ‘no Beep card, no ride’ policy on the EDSA Busway will thus be put on hold effective today, October 5, 2020.
The DOTr’s statement reads: “We are saddened by the refusal of AFPI, the provider of the AFCS at the EDSA Busway, to waive the cost of the Beep card despite consistent pleas made by the government. This would have made a big difference to the commuters, mostly daily wage earners who are the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
To address these issues, the EDSA Bus Consortia also says it will look for another card provider. In the meantime, cash payments will once again be honored along the Busway. For those who’ve already purchased Beep cards, the DOTr says that these may still be used to pay fares. You can check out the whole statement below:
These recent developments, plus the fact that there’s been some confusion surrounding Beep cards in the first place, don’t really put commuters in a good spot. Here’s to hoping that this entire fiasco gets sorted out soon. If you want to chime in here, the comments section is open.