THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) on Thursday said it will consider new suppliers for public transport reloadable cards amid a shortage of beep cards.  

“The DoTr and railways operators, we are open to accept new card issuers like beep card,” Randolph Clet, project manager of automated fare collection system of DoTr, said in a One News interview.   

AF Payments, Inc., (AFPI), a consortium between the Ayala Group and the First Pacific Group, is the company behind stored-value or beepcards, which is used in rail lines, buses and modern public utility vehicles.    

Mr. Clet explained that the shortage of beep cards is due to global supply chain issues.   

“This shortage is by AFPI, they are saying that the production of electronic chips used in cards are affected by the high prices of fuel, commodity supply disruptions brought about by the Russian-Ukraine war and the pandemic,” he said.   

The DoTr was recently asked by legislators to explain to surging prices of beep cards.    

“Beep cards are sold in MRT stations based on our concession agreement. The ones that are sold outside stations, which is higher than the ones sold in stations, we cannot control it, it is not part of our concession agreement,” Mr. Clet said.    

Last month, the DoTr announced that it is exploring other options for cashless payment such as QR codes, debit cards, and credit cards as part of the departments efforts to improve the public transportation system. Ashley Erika O. Jose