Ferry operator introduces payment scheme

Launching. House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (in shades) attends the launching of the cashless system of Topline Expresss. The company says passengers won’t have to line up to pay for their tickets. (SunStar Foto / Allan Cuizon)

STARTING on Feb. 1, passengers of Topline Express, the operator of ferry boats that travel to and from Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City, can swipe their “Topcards” instead of lining up to pay their fare.

Eugene Eric Lim, Topline Express’s chief executive officer and president, said different cards could be purchased at the company’s ticketing booth.

A card that costs P999 is good for 30 days. A card that costs P599 can be used for 15 days. A card that is valid for a week costs P299, while a one-day card will set back a passenger P49.

The use of the cards in a single day has no limit.

Lim said commuters could save money if they availed themselves of the card compared to buying a one-way ticket for P25.

Brigitte Lim-Mueller, the company’s vice president for operations, said 500 to 1,000 free cards would be on offer to passengers on Feb. 1.

Land Transportation Office 7 Director Vic Caindec welcomed the development.

He said it would be better for Lapu-Lapu City residents working in Cebu City to avoid riding public utility vehicles.

“Fewer cars on the road is the solution to fixing the heavy traffic,” Caindec said. “Now, if people don’t use their cars anymore to cross Mactan towards Cebu, then the two bridges will have fewer vehicles.”

On Saturday morning, Jan. 12, the Topline Express was formally launched.

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo joined Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza in the event.

In her short speech, Arroyo said transportation helps shorten the travel time of locals and tourists.

She discussed the roll-on roll-off system, which was implemented during her time as president.

“I think, very soon, that it’s not going to be only the employees will use it, but tourists who will go to the wonderful beaches and restaurants of Mactan Island,” Arroyo said. From GCM of Superbalita Cebu / KAL


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