Two of the country’s largest and most prominent conglomerates, First Pacific group and Ayala group, submitted the best complying bid for the latest Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project, the P1.72-billion contactless automatic fare collection system (AFCS) that is expected to improve ridership experience for Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) commuters through a modern and convenient fare collection system.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will conduct a customary post-bid evaluation before it awards the project to AF Consortium which is expected to be announced on December 23, 2013. The project will modernize the country’s transport systems by financing, designing, constructing, and managing the implementation and operation of a contactless AFCS based on smart card technology.
The AF Consortium is among the five consortia pre-qualified by the DOTC that submitted bids to this critical project, composed of groups that teamed up with foreign companies with established experience in similar ticketing systems, such as those in the technology, banking, transportation, and retail industries.
The AF Consortium is composed of BPI Card Finance Corporation as lead member, Globe Telecom, and AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. of the Ayala group and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Smart Communications and Meralco FinServe of the First Pacific group.
The AF Consortium partnered with MSI Global and SMRT. MSI Global developed the software for the automatic fare collection systems in Singapore and Bangkok, while SMRT currently operates Singapore’s mass transit system.
The DOTC first evaluated the Technical Proposal of the AF Consortium and gave it a passing mark last December 6, 2013 along with two other bidders. On December 9, 2013 it announced that the AF Consortium offered the best price.
The contactless payment system will facilitate efficient passenger transfer to other rail lines, and enhance fare collection efficiency by reducing leakage and fraud.
AFCS has the business potential for expansion to other transport modes and systems, such as buses, toll roads and the Philippine National Railway (PNR), in the future.
Capitalizing on Integrated Strength and Expertise for the Project’s Full Potential
The AF Consortium, through its combined skills in managing leading companies in the country, reflects a strong partnership that will help realize the latent possibilities of the system as well as expanding it to opportunities in the retail business.
“We are pleased to share a common ground with Ayala Corporation through the AFCS project that will help modernize our rail transport system. This strategic alliance will create integrated solutions that will improve public transportation through our vision to transform the country’s light rail transit system into a network very much like those in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other major cities in Asia,’’ MPIC chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
“We are delighted to build this exciting platform together with the First Pacific group. We will be leveraging the complementary strengths and assets of each consortium member, and we believe that we can help bring out the promising potential of AFCS not only as a transit fare collection method but as a broader and efficient payment ecosystem at par with global standards,” Ayala Corporation Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said.
With this partnership, the two conglomerates’ much vaunted management experience, technical know-how, reputable customer base as well as financial clout, will combine for a formidable package to ensure the success of AFCS.
The AF Consortium has the option to expand the contactless card system to other businesses in and out of the transportation sector, such as in retail transactions making it a truly pervasive scheme that is envisioned to change the payments landscape in the country.
Full implementation of AFCS is targeted by the third quarter of 2015