Roundup Bits: Tap and Load Cards, Mass Transit to Dasmariñas City, and Earth Hour 2015

So much has been happening around the metropolis lately, so it’s time to do a roundup of some of the matters we should know about. Read up on the news after the break.

Unified Mass Transit Cards….Finally!

The most important to come out these past few days is the approval and the implementation of a unified single ticketing system for the metropolis’ mass transit system. This system will come in the form of a card (which costs P20.00) that you tap on the sensor at the turnstile for entry and that can reloaded for as low as P11.00 up to P10,000.00 at most.

These “tap and load” cards have long been used in other countries, for instance in the mass transport systems of Singapore and Hong Kong, so those who have been to those places and others with this type of ticketing system should be familiar with them.

Such a system has been long overdue, especially for commuters who patronize the metro’s mass transit and bearing with its various issues. (no further elaboration needed, right?) The rollout is expected to begin in May, starting with the Line 2 network, followed by Line 3 in June, and finally Line 1 by July.  The Urban Roamer is fully supportive of this system; the public should likewise give this one an all-out support as well.

As in the case of Hong Kong, Singapore, and other countries’ tap card systems, the PH tap cards are being looked into having their usage expanded to that of buses (which some buses like the BGC Bus already employ a similar tap card system for the fare) and even convenience stores.

LRTA’s Line 1 Extension: From Baclaran to Bacoor to…Dasma?

Speaking of mass transit systems, a news item came out about the government’s plan to have a mass transit line serve the growing city that is Dasmariñas in Cavite. To be specific, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) plans to have the still-yet-to-be-built Line 1 South Extension from Baclaran to Bacoor be extended all the way to Dasmariñas City.

And there folks is the problem, the bright boys of DOTC under Sec. Jun (P)Abaya are already planning to build an extension to an extension line they have not even started building yet. At best, this can be treated as one of those “press releases” the DOTC is fond of releasing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the improvement of the mass transit system and such a plan is very much welcome. I just don’t trust (P)Abaya and his men at DOTC running things at the moment.

So until we see the first pedestal of the Line 1 South Extension erected or when (P)Abaya leaves DOTC, (whichever comes first) let’s not hold our breaths on this one, realistically speaking.

Earth Hour 2015

It’s that time of the year again as Earth Hour is going to be celebrated in different parts of the world on March 28. In the Philippines, it will be at 8:30 PM as homes and establishments are encouraged to turn off the lights for one hour as a symbolic gesture of sorts to fight climate change and be one with the environment.

This year’s theme is about using “#yourpower” in raising awareness and in helping the earth fight the spectre of climate change that is affecting everyone in the planet and restore the earth’s natural beauty and splendor.

As I’ve always maintained, whether you join the others to turn off your lights for Earth Hour does not matter. What matters is what you will do for the earth long-term wise. After all, helping our planet takes more than just one hour and once a year to do it. It is a long-term, continuous commitment that we all must do for our home and for the welfare of the generations to come.

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