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Lawmaker eyes beep card system to ease traffic

To help fix the traffic woes on the stretch of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue, Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento is pushing for the use of an electronic or beep card system to replace the manual fare system.

Sarmiento, House transportation committee chairman, said apart from the implementation of an organized dispatch system to ensure smooth transition of buses in loading and unloading zones, the fare system of EDSA buses must also be modernized so there would be lesser time spent in the collection of fares.

Government may turn the national identification system into machine-readable electronic cards to implement the proposed beep card system.

“Currently, they are just thinking at a plain ID. It’s a waste of resources. Why not make it multi-purpose? Make it as a tap card. Make it function like a credit card or an automated teller machine  card and you can load money on it so you can use it as a tap card. You can use it as Social Security System, Pag-IBIG, and Philippine Health Corp. cards,” he said.

The shift to a beep card system is necessary if the government decides to organize bus companies into a consortium and adopt a synchronized bus dispatch system, he added.

“Because of current multiple operators, its cost-inefficient to have that tap card system in place. If we have consolidated operations, then we will have enough volume to have that system,” he said.

Earlier, the Samar lawmaker said the House committee on transportation is now conducting a series of consultation with concerned stakeholders to come up with a solid and viable one-year roadmap to resolve the gridlock on EDSA .

He called on the Department of Labor and Employment to fully implement its Department Order 11-82 mandating bus companies to provide “fixed and performance-based” compensation for their drivers and conductors in order to stop bus drivers from competing against one another for passengers.

Once the proposed roadmap is completed, it would be simulated through a computer-generated dry run to determine its efficiency, he said.

“Once everything has been set in theory and generated through computer, it will be presented to the public. Dry run will be implemented on a day with the least number of vehicles in the road and most probably on a long holiday to avoid chaos and disruption, similar to what happened last Tuesday, Aug. 6. The President can even declare a holiday in Metro Manila for us to have a dry run effectively,” he said.

Topics: Edgar Mary Sarmiento , Epifanio delos Santos Avenue , Department of Labor and Employment
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