Blank MRT Cards

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Metro Trail Transit (MRT3) is one of the faster modes of transportation around Metro Manila. Due to its popularity though, long queues have emerged from the sheer bulk of people wanting to arrive to their destination faster.

The long lines in the ticket booths can be avoided though by buying a prepaid card which you can reuse until all credit is consumed. The lines entering the station though are unavoidable as you go through the aisle inserting your card through an ATM like opening and returns your card in another opening verifying your card and letting you enter the station.

There is only one way how to insert the card. It's with the side with the hole on the card to be inserted first with the card design facing the person. If you try inserting it any other way, it won't be accepted. My problem lies with the new (or old, depending on how you look at it) cards being used by the MRT.

The cards used to have the president's face on them. Some had commercial designs (Samsung phone ads, and other various designs). Aside from the visual appeal, this helps you determining which is the front and which is the back. The last time I rode the MRT, I was handed out a blank card. One side was white and the other was black. I couldn't tell immediately which was front and back. And I'm not too keen on making a mistake entering the MRT terminal especially with a long line of people behind you expecting you won't hold up the line.

I wasn't the only one who made a mistake. I saw other people in the lines next to mine asking security which side is which.

I'm not sure if these cards' design have faded through time, or if MRT is just cutting down on printing expenses, but the least they could do is have a sign or arrow showing which side is front and which side is back to lessen the number of mistakes people would make and eventually make the entire process more efficient. In addition, it's embarrassing to make that mistake when dozens of people all around you are doing it correctly when the difference is just a matter of having a printed card as opposed to a blank card.

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  1. its a good thing that they removed our president's face hehe

    tip: always remember the correct position of the hole

  2. I wish they'd have various pics of scenic spots in the Philippines printed on the card than people's faces. We already have people's faces on money.

    Yeah, I have to remember the correct position next time so I won't make a mistake. Thanks!