By Jacque Manabat | ABS-CBN News | October 5, 2015
MANILA - The implementation of the new ticketing system at the stations of the Metro Rail Transit-Line 3 (MRT-3) for the first working week didn't go as expected.
On Monday morning, some turnstiles and vending machines at the Ayala MRT station conked out. The machines were immediately repaired by technical staff manning the station.
Lines in some of the stations were long as passengers adjusted to the new "beep" cards.
Several passengers said they don't have a problem with the new ticketing system, but that management should focus more on improving the arrival of trains in the platform.
"Doesn't matter kasi train naman talaga nagde-delay [ng biyahe]...so far, OK naman," said one passenger.
One passenger, on the other hand, complained that the system did not read the new card.
AF Payments chief executive Peter Maher admitted that there was no dry run conducted at the MRT for the implementation of the beep cards. As they have observed, train riders' unfamiliarity with the new system resulted to longer queues.
"This conversation takes longer than the purchase…unfortunately, you get a long line. There was no trial or dry run this time. First time we used the machinery in this rail line," he said.
MRT-3 general manager Roman Buenafe, meanwhile, assessed that in two months, the riders will get used to it. He added that even his staff is new and still learning the ropes.
"Less than two months, gamay na ng tao 'yan. May mga maliit na problem although nag-training na ang tao natin, parang laboratory situation pa rin ngayon, may konting taranta pa," he said.
Officials are asking for the public's understanding, especially with the train's operations staff as they are also using the equipment for the first time.
The beep card can now be used in all three rail lines. The beep card was first used in Light Rail Transit-Line 2 (LRT-2) stations on June 20 followed by LRT-1 on August 16.
It was launched at MRT stations on Saturday.
AF Payments sold around 50,000 beep cards during the pre-selling activity done this weekend in some MRT-3 stations. In all three rail lines, AF Payments was able to sell around 600,000 beep cards.