Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Common railway ticket pushed

Jeremiah F. de Guzman
Manila Standard

Barring any hitch, train riders will be using a common ticket in Metro Manila starting June, said a Department of Transportation and Communication official.

Undersecretary Guilling Mamondiong said the project was up for approval by the National Economic Development Authority.

The proposal involves one ticketing for Metro rail Transit, Light Rail Transit, and the Philippine National Railways on a build-own-operate scheme.

“The idea is to have private entity managing the project,” Mamondiong said.

He said his department would have just one operator handling the project to be opened to public bidding once a go signal is given Neda.

Mamondiong said under the unified, tickets will be in a form of a chip or barcode that can be embedded to ATM and credit cards.

“It will be contactless, avoiding long queues in ticket booths,” he said, adding that the cost of fare would be tacked on a person’s individual account, eliminating the need for cash transactions at train stations.

Mamondiong said the upgrade would not come with a free lunch noting fare could have “just a slight adjustment and [commuters] will not even notice the increase.”

The common ticketing system is part of the goal of a seamless transportation system in Metro Manila.

The government has allotted P6.3 billion for the 5.7-km. elevated line extension from Monumento Station of LRT Line 1 in Caloocan City to North Avenue Station of MRT Line 3 in Quezon City, completing the Edsa-Taft avenue loop.

PNR has also implemented rehabilitation of its railways to link up Tutuban in Manila and Alabang, Muntinlupa City while rehabilitation of the route to Legazpi, Albay is underway.

MRT Line 7 project, which will extend MRT Line 3 from North Avenue to San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, is in the roadmap.

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