Gov’t to open bid for P1.72-B contactless fare system

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), in cooperation with the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, is conducting a pre-bid investors’ conference for the P1.72-billion LRT/MRT Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) Project, which aims to introduce smart card-based technology initially for the three light rail systems, and eventually to other modes of mass transportation.

“We want to have an open and transparent bidding process for all our projects to ensure that the public is provided with convenient, safe and reliable transport system,” DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya said.

“The AFCS is one of the significant rail transport projects that will help ease transfer from one rail system to another, hence allow our people to travel faster and conveniently.”

Similar to what Octopus smart card used in Hong Kong’s public transport systems and convenient stores, the AFCS is envisioned to replace the separate and incompatible ticketing systems currently used at LRT1, LRT2, and MRT3.

The tap-and-go system will also enhance fare collection efficiency by reducing leakage and fraud.

In the future, the system can be expanded to include other transport modes such as buses, toll roads, and the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

The project, which was approved by the president and the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Board on November 30, entails the design, installation, and construction of the new AFCS for LRT1, LRT2, and MRT3; its maintenance for a concession period of ten years beginning full systems acceptance; provision of contactless media or tickets; and the operation of the AFCS Central Clearing House.

According to PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao, under the current system, passengers transferring from one line to the other are required to purchase separate tickets resulting in multiple queuing times and boarding fees.

“An efficiently procured contactless AFCS project will bring important benefits to the over 1 million passengers who use the metro rail system daily,” she added.

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