Universal Beep Card Bill Filed with Aims to Simiplify Commuter Payment

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Quezon City 5th district Representative PM Vargas has just filed House Bill 4913 (HB 4913), simply known as the Universal Beep Card Bill.

The goal of the Universal Beep Card Bill is to provide a one-card-fits-all system for public transportation in Metro Manila. This is to address the hassle of paying for multiple contactless smart cards across the different means of transportation across the metro.

As Rep. Vargas puts it, “By centralizing stored-value payments and transactions into a ‘universal beep card’, we remove barriers of expensive and unnecessary costs of public transportation.”

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Beep cards were introduced in 2015 to pay for the train systems in Metro Manila and select bus lines. Among these include the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1, LRT Line 2, and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3. At the time, these cards were operated, implemented, and created by AF Payments Incorporated.

AF Payments Inc. introduced NFC-based card loading earlier this year as well as expanded prepaid QR ticketing to select buses.

In 2016, a totally different contactless smart card called the BeepRides card was introduced for the Bagong Jeep (BEEP) program. This was launched to coincide with the implementation of the national government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Universal Beep Card bill to answer confusion and complications?

Universal Beep Card bill filed - featured image

This caused quite the confusion among the commuters with two different smart cards for different transportation systems with similar names in 2020.

The Universal Beep Card Bill looks to fix this problem along with help with the shortage of beep cards in the country. This, in turn, will help simplify the payment system and the unnecessary cost and confusion with different contactless cards.

As the country faces a looming shortage of beep cards, technological advancement must be coupled with ergonomic solutions. These circumstances pose an opportunity to further develop our policies especially commuter transactions in public transportation,” Vargas said.

Globally, cities like Hong Kong, Seoul, and London are among those that have adopted a similar one-card-fits-all system.

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Ram found his love and appreciation for writing in 2015 having started in the gaming and esports sphere for GG Network. He would then transition to focus more on the world of tech which has also began his journey into learning more about this world. That said though, he still has the mentality of "as long as it works" for his personal gadgets.

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