The Philippine Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) started its limited public trial of the “beep card” ticketing system at a Light Rail Station-2 (LRT-2) station on Monday.

The limited pilot testing of the tap-and-go ticketing system has begun at Legarda Station LRT-2 to identify possible bugs in the system and familiarize passengers with the new setup.

During the test run, a limited number of new single journey and stored value tickets branded as beep cards will be sold for P20 at the Legarda station. Commuters may purchase them at designated windows and at two ticket vending machines located inside the station.

The new tickets may be used to exit from any LRT-2 station, and may be reloaded at any of these locations as well.

The minimum amount that the system requires to be loaded is P 12 and the maximum is P 10,000 that could last up to four years.

Personnel from AF Payments Inc, the project’s concessionaire are present at LRT-2 stations to assist commuters and listen to feedback of those who participate in the testing phase.

DOTC and LRT Authority (LRTA) envisioned the shift to contactless Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) to enable seamless transfers from one metro line to another through a unified ticketing scheme.

By implementing AFCS, DOTC and LRTA hope the queue time for passengers will be minimized.

“This tap-and-go ticketing system will not only improve the commuting experience for train riders, it will also usher in a culture of cashless transactions across different industries,” DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya said.

“It is fitting that the first transport PPP (Private-Public Partnership) introduces new technology into our society, as our goal in DOTC is to modernize the country’s transport systems and catch up with our more advanced neighbors. To get it right, we need to go through testing first, with the goal of getting feedback from our passengers,” Abaya added.

LRT Spokesperson Hernando Cabrera said that if the trial becomes successful, the operation of the new ticketing system will be implemented daily and gradually in other stations.

DOTC and LRT have been conducting an information campaign since last week to inform the 25,000 passengers of Legarda station of new tickets, gates and ticket vending machines.

The new ticketing system is similar to the Octopus cards used in Hong Kong.