LTFRB orders removal of cashless card fee

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    THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) yesterday ordered public utility vehicle (PUV) operators and automated fare collection system (AFCS) providers to remove charges on cashless or Beep cards, except the fare load, that are collected from commuters.

    The LTFRB, in issuing Memorandum Circular 2020-057 on October 6, said the riding public should only be made to pay the required fare to their destination and not be made to shoulder the incremental cost for the production of the Beep cards.

    “To alleviate the burden of the riding public, the Board hereby directs all Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) operators and Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) to remove any charges or fees imposed for the purchase/use of their cards on top of the fare load,” LTFRB said in the circular.

    It added that “failure of the concerned operator and/or provider to comply with this issuance shall cause for the immediate suspension of the AFCS, aside from the penalties to be imposed pursuant to existing issuances of this board against the operators concerned.”

    The circular takes effect on Friday, October 9.

    The issuance of the circular was in compliance with the directive of President Duterte to transport officials to make the Beep/contactless cards free for all commuters to ease the fiscal burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Department of Transportation has suspended the mandatory use of Beep cards in the EDSA Busway system after AF Payment Inc., the service provider of the Beep cards, refused to give the cards for free.

    Immediately after the suspension, AFPI proposed to upgrade the system and replace it with a QR Ticketing Code which commuters can use for free.

    Transportation assistant secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the DOTr is considering adopting the proposal to shift to a QR ticketing system which has no added cost to commuters.