THE Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) has confirmed the readiness of toll operators to implement the electronic toll collection system at their respective tollways on November 2, 2020.
Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) Executive Director Abraham Sales welcomed the readiness of the expressway operators to shift to contactless transactions, as he stressed that the directive of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) mandating the implementation of cashless toll collection takes effect on November 2 as a measure to promote contactless transactions, and as a means to ensure a more efficient flow of traffic.
ED Sales noted that although all expressways will be implementing cashless toll collections, motorists without RFID stickers will still be allowed entry to the toll plaza, but will be led to an area where their vehicles will be provided with the RFID stickers.
“It’s all systems go at the toll roads. All lanes will be RFID lanes. Those without RFID stickers will be allowed entry to the toll plaza and will be led to a nearby area for their RFID subscription before being allowed to proceed with their expressway travel. Further, to avoid overcrowding at toll plazas and to accommodate infrequent toll road users, the operators have extended the RFID installation,” Sales said.
The DOTr earlier issued Department Order 2020-012 which ordered cashless toll collections at the expressways in line with the government’s thrust to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and to facilitate ease of passage. Under the Order, the TRB, an attached agency of the DOTr, shall ensure that operators install electronic tags or other cashless systems for all motorists and motor vehicles using the expressways and transact only thru the cashless mode of payment.
MPTC operates the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX), the C5 Link and the the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) expressways. The SMC meanwhile operates the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), the Skyway System, the NAIA Expressway, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).
In a statement, the MPTC said that its toll roads are ready for the electronic toll collection.
However, MPTC is aware that this is also a transition period for the motorists who have paid cash for the longest time.
Thus, motorists who will not have Easytrip RFID stickers installed by November 2will still be allowed passage in NLEX, SCTEX, CAVITEX, C5 Link and CALAX, but will be directed to the RFID installation lanes where they can have their RFID stickers installed. The corresponding toll fee charge for their passage on that particular day will then be deducted from the initial load that they paid in getting the RFID stickers.
“We will convert some of the remaining cash lanes in all toll plazas of MPTC expressways to RFID installation lanes. At the same time, the off-site customer service stations will continue to operate and install RFID stickers,” MPTC Chief of Technology and MPT South President and General Manager Roberto V. Bontia said, adding that, “the stickers will remain to be free except for the initial load.”
This means that motorists can still have the RFID stickers installed on their vehicles even beyond November 2, 2020.
MPTC said it will open RFID installation lanes in all entry toll plazas to serve motorists who are yet to install their Easytrip RFID even after November 2. Aside from drive-thru installation lanes, other RFID installation and reloading sites in various locations will remain open. At NLEX-SCTEX, there will also be drive-thru reloading lanes in Balintawak, Mindanao, Bocaue, Angeles, and Tipo. RFID Assist Squads will also be positioned at the toll plaza to help motorists. At CALAX, tents will be installed along lanes to augment the number of booths.
The tollway company also reminds the public to avail of their Easytrip RFID stickers at authorized customer service stations, the location may be found in NLEX-SCTEX, CAVITEX-C5 Link and CALAX social media pages.
Meanwhile, SMC expressways will also extend to November 30 the free installation of its Autosweep RFID stickers, as it expressed readiness to start a 100% cashless toll collection operation on Nov 2.
In a statement, the SMC said a surge in the number of motorists rushing to convert to the Autosweep RFID system have resulted in long queues at the installation stations, particularly over the past two weeks. Many motorists have yet to secure their RFID stickers, even as the date of implementation draws near, the SMC added in a statement.
For this reason, the company said it would be extending the issuance of its free RFID stickers to November 30.
“By November 2, all lanes at our toll plazas will be fully capable and converted to electronic toll collection, in full compliance with the government’s mandate. However, after careful study and deliberation, and especially in consideration of so many motorists who have not been able to secure an Autosweep RFID account because of the volume of applications we have today, we have decided to extend the deadline to November 30,” the company said in a statement.
“This means that from Nov. 2 to 30, vehicles without RFID will still be allowed to enter the expressways. Hopefully, this will give more time for motorists to get their RFID stickers,” SMC added.
SMC emphasized that November 30 will be the absolute deadline. After which, vehicles without RFID stickers will not be allowed to enter SMC-operated tollways including Skyway, SLEX, NAIAX, STAR Tollways and TPLEX.
To provide more convenience to motorists, SMC has set up installation and reloading lanes at toll plaza entry points, in addition to the installation and reloading stations already set up in strategic locations in Metro Manila and Luzon provinces.