The AF Consortium offered Peso 1.08bn ($US 24m) for the 10-year public-private partnership scheme, the highest premium bid received, which includes a Peso 800m transaction fee and a Peso 270m availability payment. Ayala and MPIC are partnering with MSI Global to rollout the fare collection solution which will establish a "tap and go" automatic ticketing system similar to the Octopus system used in Hong Kong and will replace the existing magnetic stripe ticketing used on the network's three elevated lines.

The project will upgrade facilities at 44 stations on the network and 328 turnstiles used on LRT Line 1, 229 on LRT Line 2, and 171 on MRT Line 3. Each partner will contribute an equal share of the investment cost for the project which is expected to take 18 months to complete. The consortium also has the option to extend the contactless card system to businesses outside of the transport sector.

"We will not charge passengers a single cent," says MPIC president Mr Jose Ma K Lim. "All of the capex we will recover through the use of the cards in other places like convenience stores, on buses and in coffee shops."

THE AF Consortium of Ayala Corp and Metro Pacific Investments (MPIC), which recently won the contract to upgrade ticketing on urban rail lines in Metro Manila, says it will spend $US 40m on the automatic fare collection project.