Various groups urged the government to suspend the no beep card’s implementation, no ride policy in Edsa busway, which started on October 1.
“The government should be the one to issue [fare cards], so there will be no profiteering. This was supposed to be for public health, to reduce human contact in public transportation,” said Renato Reyes, secretary-general of militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).
At the bus stop, the price of the Beep card is P180. It contains a P100 load and can be used as a fare to the destination. Those without a Beep card will not be able to board the bus.
The cards used to only cost P50 before implementing the no beep card, no ride policy.
“Why did the cost of card and load reach P180? Why is there a service fee of P5? Why is there a maintaining balance of P65?” Reyes asked.
Meanwhile, consumer group Samahan at Ugnayan ng mga Konsyumer para sa Ikauunlad ng Bayan (Suki) said commuters would continue to lose as long as the “government allows businessmen to run public transportation.”
Groups urge suspension of ‘no beep card, no ride’ implementation
“P80 for only the card, aside from the fare, is burdensome. If this was meant to counter COVID-19, why charge the public. Shouldn’t this be covered by the government?” said Suki spokesperson Reggie Vallejos.
Gabriela Women’s Rep. Arlene Brosas also urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to suspend the new cashless payment system if it could not regulate the profiteering of private companies.
“Just imagine, commuters, mostly low-income workers, were forced to pay P80 for a Beep card, P100 for load with a maintaining balance of P65 and a P5 convenience fee per load for third-party service providers. LTFRB should suspend this policy and refund the commuters,” she said.
DOTr chief Arthur Tugade earlier said the agency is looking at a portion of the agency’s fund allocation under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 to fund the free Beep cards commuters.
The Bayanihan 2 allocated P9.5 billion for DOTr’s assistance to the transport sector stakeholders affected by the COVID-19 crisis.