Amid beep card shortage, DOTr eyes mobile QR ticketing code | Inquirer News

Amid beep card shortage, DOTr eyes mobile QR ticketing code

/ 11:06 PM September 30, 2022
LRTA and NCRPO personnel conduct simulation exercises to prepare for the "new normal" protocols in LRT-2 on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Photo from NCRPO PIO

FILE PHOTO LRTA and NCRPO personnel conduct simulation exercises to prepare for the “new normal” protocols in LRT-2 on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Photo from NCRPO PIO

MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday said they are mulling the use of mobile QR code tickets as mode of payment for train fares.

Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) corporate secretary Hernando Cabrera said this at the Senate finance subcommittee hearing on the proposed P167.12-billion DOTr budget in 2023, after Senator Grace Poe grilled them over not having efficient plans in addressing the supply gap in stored-value or beep cards.

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The DOTr earlier warned of a shortfall in beep cards, but Cabrera clarified that this is caused by a global chip shortage.

He then said one of the solutions they are looking into was to install a machine in stations, where commuters can extend the expiry date of stored-value tickets for a year.

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He also assured the public that should the beep card inventory run out, passengers can still avail of single-journey tickets.

Asked by Poe if this means passengers can mass purchase these tickets in advance, Cabrera said no as it would need to be used within two hours after its sale.

Poe later interjected to say that this is not a solution to commuter woes since passengers will still need to line up to buy tickets each time they ride the Metro Rail Transit or Light Rail Transit.

“Huwag nang dagdagan ng palamuti iyong mga salita ninyo. Bibili ka rin naman ng ticket na iyon, eh ‘di may mano-mano pa rin doon, may cash pa din. Papaano mo sasabihin na maiiwasan na iyong paggamit ng pera, eh paano makukuha iyon,” she lamented.

(Let’s not use flowery words. They would still have to manually buy their tickets using cash. How can you say this would avoid payments through cash? How will they get the ticket?)

The senator then called on the department to propose strategies to ease the commuters’ burdens when purchasing tickets,

But Cabrera revealed that they are already considering shifting to mobile QR code tickets instead of beep cards.

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“Ah yeah, can you develop that as soon as possible before the actual shortage is felt,” Poe asked.

To this, Cabrera said they have since developed and completed the pilot testing for this ticketing method.

“Lumusot na po iyong paggamit nito sa Line 1 at saka sa Line 2 (The use of this was already tested in Line 1 and 2.),” he added. — Catherine Dabu, INQUIRER.net trainee

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TAGS: LRTA, QR Code, Sen. Grace Poe
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