DOTr pushes toll interoperability for seamless travel
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - June 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has called for a speedy implementation of the interoperability of toll systems in order to bring fast, efficient and seamless travel to motorists.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade urged all stakeholders in the toll collection interoperability agreement to fast-track the necessary measures to fully implement the scheme.

“We are grateful to our private partners who have always demonstrated their unparalleled support in this project. We need their assistance to fast-track the needed measures in order to fully implement toll interoperability. We need to do this together and because of the crisis we are facing, we need to speed it up,” Tugade said.

A toll collection interoperability project was launched in 2017 with the signing of a memorandum of agreement among the DOTr, the Department of Public Works and Highways, Land Transportation Office, Toll Regulatory Board, San Miguel Group, Metro Pacific Group and the Ayala Group.

Under the agreement, the toll road companies are required to make adjustments in their systems to enable interoperability and an integrated toll collection.

For Phase 1 of its implementation which requires the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, Autosweep tags issued by the San Miguel Group for the Skyway, SLEX, STAR Tollway, TPLEX, NAIAx, and the MCX will be readable at the Easytrip System on the NLEX, SCTEX, Cavitex, C5 Southlink, and CALAX using two accounts.

This will allow motorists to seamlessly use their RFID tags issued by a toll road operator at the toll plaza of another operator upon completion of registration.

As of end May, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) reports that there are more than 700,000 Autosweep RFID tags that are qualified for registration.

For Phase 2 of the toll interoperability program, Easystrip RFID tags issued by the Metro Pacific Group for the NLEX, SCTEX, Cavitex, C-5 Southlink and CALAX, shall soon be readable at the Autosweep System or at the Skyway, SLEX, STAR Tollway, TPLEX, NAIAx, and MCX using two accounts.

The DOTr said toll operators expressed their fullest support to Tugade’s call to fast-track the toll interoperability program as this will be of great benefit to commuters.

“We fully support the DOTr and its initiative of unifying toll collection across all expressways. We have been working with them and the other operators and stakeholders on this project for some time. We look forward to providing this convenience to motorists, especially in our situation now, when electronic toll collection is necessary to help ensure the safety of the public and our tollway employees,” San Miguel Corp. president and COO Ramon Ang said.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. president and CEO Rodrigo Franco, for his part, said the scheme is in line with the group’s promotion of cashless transactions.

“The MPTC fully supports the DOTr’s drive for interoperability of toll collections in all the expressways. The scheme complements our program to promote contactless and cashless toll transactions in our own tollway facilities, especially during this time of pandemic. Motorists deserve fast, convenient and hygienic toll services,” Franco said.

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