Riders of Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2 coaches plying the Santolan (Pasig City)-Recto (Manila)-Santolan route suffered a huge inconvenience this week amid a limited supply of Stored Value Cards.
Commuting was also costlier for the budget-conscious, with “Stored Value” cards (P100 each and P80 each for senior citizens and persons with disability) “not available,” as announced on a piece of paper above the tellers’ booth at the Katipunan station in Quezon City.
To get a “Single Journey” card, meanwhile, a commuter has to join a line that snakes near the booth—and just past the station’s security guards—and spend about 10 minutes in order to get one such card, especially if he happens to chance upon a really kilometric queue.
Before the apparent shortage of “Stored Value” cards, it took just seconds to get one of them, as it did to avail of a “Single Journey” card.
When asked why the two cards have been hard to come by since the beginning of the week, a staff, apparently a teller at the Katipunan station, on Friday said the
“Stored Value” cards are actually available mornings at least at this station but the prospective buyer would have to be there before 9 a.m. to get them (all LRT 2 stations are open as early as 6 a.m.).
But no such announcement on when exactly train riders can start buying the “Stored Value” cards was posted at the station at press time.
That being the case, one wondered whether the Katipunan station teller was just trying to get rid of other people who must have also asked her why LRT 2 management has not posted announcements on the start time for the purchase of such cards.
On Thursday, we asked another teller, this time at the C.M. Recto station, when we could get “Stored Value” cards and she answered that she really cannot say for sure.
The reply was bad news to all LRT 2 passengers because one gets an extra trip with the use of such cards, besides these pieces of plastic allowing you to “beat” other riders in the race to the turnstiles.
The Manila Times was still checking as of Friday if the same card scarcity was faced by riders at the 10 other LRT 2 stations.
Having to queue for either “Stored Value” or “Single Journey” cards is particularly unfair to the elderly or the handicapped and even to students or employees rushing to be at school or office on time.
Whether “Stored Value” or “Single Journey,” the cards are just recycled, so we are not buying the line that they are simply being snapped up faster than they can be recycled. They’re made from plastic, hello! And so why can’t we get our hands on them?