By Gerard dela Pena | News5 | October 6, 2015

The first day of the implementation of the beep cards at Metro Rail Transit stations was greeted with complaints as passengers complained of long lines at teller’s booths on Monday.

Not a few commuters said nothing has changed even with the new ticketing system.

Some turnstiles at the Ayala station even broke down due to technical glitches and needed immediate repairs.

MRT officials asked for patience from the commuters.

“It’s the newness of the system. The train operators are using new machines for the first time to issue beep cards, to issue single journey tickets. A lot of the public have questions: how does it work? how much for the cost? what’s the loads? And so this conversation takes much longer than the normal purchase,” explained Peter Maher, CEO of AF Payments Inc.

AF Payments is a consortium led by Ayala Corporation and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) that won the Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS), one of the public-private partnership (PPP) projects of the Aquino administration.

Renato Reyes, secretary general of the militant group Bayan, said new trains should have been purchased first instead of replacing the ticketing system.

But MRT general manager Roman Buenafe retorted that it just so happened that the beep cards came first.

Engines of the new trains are expected to arrive in China for testing before these are shipped to the Philippines where these will undergo test runs in December.