3 bidders qualify for unified train ticketing system

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Monday, December 9, 2013

THREE bidders have recently passed the technical evaluation stage for the P1.72 billion Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) Project of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), which will unify the ticketing system of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal said the three firms, which include SM Consortium; the AF Consortium of the Ayala and Metro Pacific groups; and the Comworks and Berjaya Consortium have all satisfied the technical requirements of the transport agency.

"We have been speeding up the process. At the rate we are going, we should be able to award the contract by January 2014," said DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal.

Sagcal noted that the qualified firms' financial proposals are currently being presented and after which, the Transportation Department will conduct financial evaluation over the next couple of weeks in accordance with the Build-Operate-and-Transfer (BOT) Law.

The ticketing system, which is similar to Hong Kong's "octopus" card for its subways and Singapore's "EZ-Link" card for its SMRT, will allow Filipino commuters to use a single ticket when they ride the LRT Lines 1 and 2, as well as the MRT Line 3.

The rail lines are reported to have a combined ridership of around a million every day.

Sagcal said the winning bidder will also have the option to expand its contactless card system to other businesses in and out of the transportation sector, such as in retail transactions.

In the proposed tap-and-go system, the winning bidder will operate for 10 years and will also upgrade the efficiency of fare collection by reducing leakage and fraud.

He added that the system can be expanded to include other transport modes such as buses, expressways and the Philippine National Railways. (Sunnex)

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