A lawmaker wants to make the Beep card the universal card for public transportation

The card is already used for MRT-3, LRT-1 and 2, and even the EDSA Carousel. It is also used on the new modernized jeepneys.

Beep card overlooking Guadalupe Station in MRT-3

Quezon City representative PM Vargas proposed a bill named House Bill 4913, also known as the “Universal Beep Card Bill” which aims to centralize the Beep card and remove the inconvenience of having to use multiple contactless cards for different public transportation options.

The card was introduced back in 2015. It is a reloadable contactless card intended to be an alternative to the single-journey tickets offered by MRT-3, LRT-1, and LRT-2. Later, the card’s use has expanded beyond these railway systems, such as the BGC Bus and P2P buses. It can also be used in select commercial stores such as Wendy’s and can be reloaded through a Beep card kiosk, through the Beep app, and through BPI. The card responds using Near Field Communication (NFC) which some smartphones have, such as the TCL 10 5G.

The card is implemented, monitored, and operated by AF Payments Incorporated and uses the “Transpo” brand owned by the DOTr. In 2016, the card faced competition as a new contactless card was issued for yet another form of public transportation called the Bagong Jeep program, coincidentally also called “Beep”. Aside from the name, this program has nothing in relation with the Beep Card and instead, it uses a similarly named card called “BeepRides”.

Due to their similarities, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) had to release a statement differentiating the two cards to avoid confusion.

Amidst of the COVID-19 pandemic, cashless transactions became more prominent as these could contract the virus less and is more sanitary. E-wallets like GCash and Maya saw a greater number of users and are now used as alternative modes of payment in small and large businesses alike.

Vegas has noted that a centralized card system has been used in several cities like London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Seoul.

Source: Manila Bulletin