For our Marketing Plan, we decided to use the smartcard (contactless card) that will replace the magnetic cards we use in the MRT 3, LRT 1 and LRT 2 once the Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) is implemented as our product.

Some things that I learned about the project.

  • This is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project that was awarded to AF Consortium early this year, first for 2014.
  • Consortium is a group of companies that partner together for a project. A stands for Ayala and F is First Pacific. First Pacific is the parent organization of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).
  • It is notable that although Ayala and MPIC are competitors in the telco industry, they joined forces for this project. Business is business.
  • The PPP website is a good reference to all PPP projects.
  • AFCS aims to have a smartcard that can be used in all rail systems in the metro (both current and future extensions) and eventually expand to other transports like buses and cabs and also partner with retail establishments.
  • Most of the requirements in the invitation to bid document are based on standards defined by the International Organization for Standards (ISO). This means that the technology to be implemented here would be the same as those in other countries (i.e. Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.) Finally a taste of 1st world hehe. Side note:when we visited HK in 2011, I was so amazed with their rail system and since then wished that we have the same here. I hope that with this project, it will be the start of a better rail system for us.
  • Government’s requirement is that there should be no supplier lock in. Good. No monopoly.
  • Part of the consortium is Octopus Transactions Limited, the same company handling HK’s smartcard requirements.
  • A standard AFCS architecture can be summarized in 5 levels (starting at Level 0). Level 0: smartcard, Level 1: turnstiles; Level 2: station systems; Level 3: Line systems; Level 4: Central system (where all systems meet).
    Looking forward to be able to top up in other retail establishments aside from the rail stations! More convenient, less lines in the stations!
  • Demographic dividend is an instance where young people are starting to enter the workforce, which in most countries signal stronger growth because they can work and spend more. (learned about this while researching for environmental factors for the AFCS project)

It was a challenging paper to write but it’s good to get some bonuses such as learning about industries that’s outside of my profession. Crossing my fingers that AFCS will be implemented by 2015, as targeted by DOTC and LRTA. It would be nice to be migrated to this system at the soonest possible time!

Aahhhh, now that we’re done with this paper (writing and reporting about it), I am just left with 2 take home final exams before the semestral break. Can’t wait! One more week!