LRT, MRT to use contactless smartcard in 2015
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) announced that contactless smartcards will be used for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) effective next year.
An agency official told Manila Bulletin Online that the target implementation of the project is on September 2015. The new card fare technology will be implemented through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) using a P3.16 billion project budget.
The contactless smartcard is expected to provide more comfort, convenience and efficiency in the daily commute of LRT-MRT passengers.
Earlier, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said the switch to a new card will help reduce operational and maintenance costs in both railways, besides strengthening security in the management of cash in the LRT and MRT.
The contactless smart card is a stored value ticket with a microchip that allows the owner of the ticket to top up its value. It can also serve as an ATM card which can be used to purchase items in participating convenience stores. On Wednesday, the DOTC gave its go signal to make it the replacement for the current magnetic stripe tickets used in LRT and MRT.