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Saturday, October 3, 2020

Going cashless with the beep card should not burden commuters


Wazzup Pilipinas!

'No Beep Card, No Ride' policy in Metro Manila took effect on October 1, resulting in long lines. The cost forced some commuters to find alternative means of getting to their destinations.

Another INCONSIDERATE policy!?

It's about time we go cashless. The use of beep cards for paying at buses is an idea implemented by a few a long time ago just as how it is at MRT and LRT trains. It should have been picked up by the government even before the Duterte administration. Kudos to this move.

However,  the cards should be provided by the government for free  if it's a national requirement now. When you lose the option to pay cash, there should be a subsidy. If you have to pay P80 for the card alone,  then adding P5 for every reload on top of your actual load,  it becomes an additional burden to commuters.  

Cashless transactions for EDSA buses implemented today, Oct 1.


Breakdown of Beep Card cost:

Card: ₱80

Load: ₱100

Maintaining Load: ₱65

Convenience fee per load for 3rd service providers: ₱5 

An E-jeep is charging P150 on first acquisition of the card. P100 for the card, that comes with P50 for the load. Mas Mahal pa yung card sa load.

These payment for cards should be on the government, not the commuters.

Just as how all government - required registrations and their corresponding IDs should be available for free to encourage people to adhere respectfully to the laws of the land. We already pay so much taxes to be serviced, that corruption has also made a lot of our government officials richer, then why won't  they allot a budget to provide their constituents with convenience and better accessibility by providing a transport payment facility that won't cost us everytime we use it. 

They will charge for the card alone aside from the load, then gagawin pang different route, different transport, different cards? Anong katarantaduhan ‘yan? Hindi ba ang purpose ng beep card is to have an integrated payment system across public functions like HK’s Octopus Card? Wtf is this anti-poor bullshit?!

Apart from the horrid economics, do we really need to buy separate Beep cards per mode of transport? Anyone else figure this out?

This is the result of a plain failure to regulate the sector to, at least, allow different card wallets to access all transport modes. It's been five years since we first saw the original Beep card roll out but the staff-hours just weren't put in.

We should adopt a card system like the T Money in Korea which works in all modes of transport - bus, train etc.

One of the actual founders of T-Money was a consultant for DOTC and DOTr, but unfortunately the gov't didn't treat this as a priority area for transportation.

Most government officials enjoy the use of high-end service vehicles as additional benefit,  which includes allowance for fuel, maintenance, parking, etc. so they are not affected by this beef card requirement. They are living and working like kings yet the public that they are supposedly serving are challenged everyday with so many of these financial burdens. 

Looks like the Salim and Ayala groups are happy with their higher Beep card earnings.

Yes, DOTr is negotiating with the private beep operator...but not to put the heat on the private company especially during this pandemic, the agency should just shoulder the extra expenses. But this situation was foreseeable - if they were going to make that demand, they could have done it earlier to avoid this and finished up negotiations even before implementation. There seems to be so little visionaries and forward thinkers from this government. Let's look.at the bigger picture, dissect all possible nooks and crannies that could contain hindrances to an effective flow of the system. Every hiccup should be observed in advance. Don't they do Proof of Concepts?

DOTr wants AF Payments Inc, Beep Card operator, to give cards for free. AFPI says it already sold 90,000 Beep cards to bus passengers. It's all too late when 90k Filipinos already got swindled.

Been reading tweets about the Beep card and it's weird how some progressive commentators see the riding public. No, they're not mostly jobless and minimum wage earners. They're just your regular employees, BPO agents, sales ladies and clerks. 

It's still a surprisingly common view that car users are mostly in the middle of the income distribution and public transport is used by the truly destitute. Public transport serves the overwhelming majority, but many still will feel a liquidity crunch by the beep card rules.

Make the beep cards system government-owned. Make the payment system integrated. One card for all modes. Load cards should be free. Commuters should only pay for actual fare. No hidden fees. No maintaining balance. 

Many commuters receive their wages daily and can’t afford to have large sums tied up in a single-purpose account. If Beep will be the de facto monopoly on payments for those buses in the dedicated lane in EDSA, then I support making the cards free for all. That’s the least they can do for getting that “protected” business. They make a ton more money anyway from loans/insurance biz on those buses.

Interoperability is the missing piece of the puzzle. That is key. Once that’s in place, the card/account issuers just slug it out in the marketing and distribution aspects (instead of the current business model of relying on exclusivity).

We need interoperable cards/accounts that can be used for banking, commuting, groceries, etc. 

The good news is that Bangko Sentral now has the framework and infrastructure to make this a possibility. We just need political will to make all stakeholders agree on common rules.

Problem is that DOTr never appointed a scheme provider for AFCS as stipulated under the PPP contract (if they did, that person would be facing the media). But since it's kind of hopeless waiting for that agency to do their job, BSP may as well get on it.

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