Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Contactless smartcards for LRT, MRT get go-signal

The Aquino administration ? through the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) ? gave a Multi-Year Obligational Authority (MYOA) to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), effectively green-lighting a contactless smartcard fare collection system for Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines 1 and 2, as well as for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 in Metro Manila.

Photo credit: http://www.sgtrains.com
Photo credit: http://www.sgtrains.com

The MYOA covers the Contactless Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS), which will allow the DOTC to replace the magnetic stripe tickets currently in use in the LRT and MRT with contactless smartcards and tokens in the two railways.

?The switch from magnetic stripe tickets to contactless cards and tokens in the LRT and MRT will help us reduce operational and maintenance costs in both railways, besides strengthening security in the management of cash in the LRT and MRT.

?Just as important is the fact that these upgrades will improve the user experience for LRT and MRT passengers as they commute from one point to another in the metro,? Abad said.

The AFCS will be implemented through a Public-Private Partnership via the Build/Rehabilitate-Transfer-Operate (BTO/RTO) and Build-Own-Operate contractual arrangements.

The total investment cost for the project ? which will cover the years 2013 to 2025 ? will amount to P3.16 billion, with P671 million invested in it for 2013 and another P1.05 billion set for the AFCS this year.

The DBM also noted that the project?s funding requirement for 2013 and 2014 is financed by the private sector, which will support costs for development, financing, and civil works; the initial costs for the smartcards and tokens; and other costs involved in the investment phase.

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