A modern ticketing system will be in place at the Light Rail Transit Line 2 by May this year.
More than 80 ticket vending machines and 100 new turnstiles have already been installed in LRT 2 stations.
The new vending machines can dispense tickets, single journey and stored value card, which can be loaded from P11 to up to P10,000. These cards can last up to 4 years.
Once implemented, the magnetic stripe tickets currently in use will be replaced by contactless, tap-and-go smart cards that come with a microchip much like Hong Kong’s Octopus cards and Singapore’s EZ link.
The new ticketing system is scheduled to be used by the commuters by May. It will be in place for MRT-3 by June and for LRT-1 by July.
“The new system will work together with the old system. This is the best way to introduce the system” Peter Maher, CEO of AF Payments, said.
Maher said they chose to start using the system in LRT 2 first to try the system on a railway with less ridership.
“LRT-2 is the least busy of the lines. It is also the summer holidays for the colleges. So the riders are not that busy and we are able to see and adjust the system without too much hassle,” he said.
The passengers will only tap the card on the new machines and then walk through the turnstile.
The new ticketing system will speed up payments substantially, lessen queuing time and allow commuters to transfer from one rail line to another seamlessly.
The AF Consortium, led by Metro Pacific and Ayala, is undertaking the project after it was awarded the P1.72 billion automatic fare collection system (AFCS) contract by the Department of Transportation and Communications.
The AF consortium includes AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., BPI Card Finance Corp., Globe Telecom, Meralco Financial Services Corp., MPIC and Smart Communications.
(Photos from Jaque Manabat of ABS-CBN)