The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is addressing the looming beep card shortage due to global chip supply chain problems by finding alternative ways to solve the expected demand of beep cards when the rail transit system becomes fully normalized.
Measures are in place to address the shortage and meet the demand of commuters for contactless cards even as the DOTr and its Beep Card provider continue to look for alternative ways such as the use of single journey tickets (SJTs).
The transport agency likewise reminded Beep Card holders to take care of the SVCs with more passengers expected to avail of Beep Cards in anticipation of the return of face-to-face classes.
Undersecretary for Rails Cesar B. Chavez said the beep card provider AF Payments Inc. (AFPI) “cannot fulfill the delivery of 75,000 SVCs vis-a-vis the card forecast demand of MRT3 for the month of July 2022 despite its repeated and diligent coordination with card suppliers abroad.”
The DOTr has advised the Public Transport Operators (PTOs) of rail lines to brace for an expected shortage of available beep cards due to shortage of worldwide production of chips, affecting the production, distribution and sale of cards to rail line commuters.
In a letter addressed to PTOs of rail lines Light Rail Transits 1 and 2 (LRT-1 and 2), and Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3), Undersecretary Chavez cited the limited access to special gasses from Russia to manufacture NXP chips, the lingering repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic in major manufacturing hubs such as China, and increased shipment and logistics costs due to the global economic downturn as factors contributing to the supply shortage of stored value cards (SVCs).
As Grantor, the DOTr has directed all PTOs to make the necessary adjustments in controlling the sale of SVCs in order to avoid untoward incidents and to allay fears of rail commuters, and “exert their best efforts in communicating the same to their rail commuters.”
Beep Cards purchased at LRT-2 can be used for other rail lines such as MRT-3 and LRT-1.