BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Automated Fare Collection System, that is the first of its kind in Region 6, especially in Bacolod City, now being implemented by the Vallacar Transit Inc., will help address health issues brought about by the Covid pandemic, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman Martin Delgra III said.
Exchanging money inside passenger vehicles will be avoided because of AFCS, Delgra, who joined VTI president and chief executive officer, Leo Rey Yanson, in the launching yesterday of the automated cashless transaction at the Ceres North Terminal in Brgy. Bata, Bacolod City, said.
The AFCS, that is also being implemented in Metro Manila and Cebu, is part of the modernization program of the Department of Transportation that was strongly pushed by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade at the start of the pandemic.
NOW IN REGION 6
“We are happy that AFCS is now realized in Bacolod City as well as in Region 6,” Delgra said. Unlike other AFCS being implemented in other areas of the country, there is a reward system where travelers may earn points to have free rides, he added.
LTFRB 6 regional director Richard Osmeña said that the VIT is looking into the interconnectivity of cards being used by the bus company in paying for other transactions.
Yanson said they are offering the tap cards free of charge to travelers, who will only purchase the load at bus terminals.
“With the modernization of the collection system, travel now is hassle-free and safe for travelers,” he said.
The pilot implementation of AFCS involves several units plying the Bacolod to Victorias City routes.
Despite the challenges and difficulties faced by the company, Yanson said he is grateful for the support extended to them by the public.
Meanwhile, Delgra said the DOTr is finalizing the “interconnectivity” of the tap card with all modes of cashless payments.
Osmeña also said the PUV modernization program in Region 6 is ongoing, adding that three cooperatives in Bacolod City that already complied with bank requirements are waiting for the release of their modern passenger vehicles.
These vehicles will automatically have AFCS, he added.
Osmeña said they are looking into using the VTI tap cards for the modern passenger vehicles, using the available technology.
The DOTr Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program aims to help the public road transport sector transition to a high-quality public transport system with greater capacity, environment-friendly low carbon emissions, and efficient operations via the modernization of vehicles.*