Cashless toll collection dry run expands coverage
MANILA -More toll plazas are now covered in the two-month dry run of a contactless program meant to promote cashless transactions.
In an advisory, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) said 16 more toll plazas across NAIA Expressway, South Metro Manila Skyway Stage 1 and 2, Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, South Luzon Expressway, STAR Tollway and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway are now participating in the dry run, which began last Sept. 1.
A total of 38 toll plazas are now part of the program.
Other participating toll plazas include those on Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway, North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, Cavite-Laguna Expressway and Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway-C5 Southlink.
“On participating toll plazas, motorists with no RFID (radio frequency identification) stickers shall be directed to a safe place/location where he can pay the toll fees in cash, and shall be persuaded to have an RFID sticker installed,” TRB noted.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said findings from the two-month dry run would dictate if the contactless program would be made permanent.
“On [the] query if cashless will be permanent, that will depend on the results of the two-month dry run and if [the DOTr] will find merit [in] the reimplementation of the contactless/cashless program,” DOTr told the Inquirer.
The DOTr had issued an order in 2020 requiring contactless transactions through the use of RFID stickers as it sought to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.
Due to complaints arising from glitches in the electronic toll collection system, however, the department later brought back cash lanes and allowed vehicles with no RFID stickers to use the tollways.
Prior to the dry run, the TRB conducted special performance audits from February to June on 717 out of 852 operated toll lanes.
The results showed that several toll plazas and lanes “passed the 98-percent readability rate while some expressways passed the parameters on account management.”
Readability refers to the automatic detection of RFID stickers while account management is the accurate charging of toll fees, crediting of load to accounts and updating of account balance information, among others.
While cash payment is still allowed, the TRB encouraged motorists to install RFID stickers for “faster and more convenient entry and exit at the toll plazas.”