‘Tollways to go cashless by November’
THE Department of Transportation (DOTR) has given toll road operators until November 2 to fully migrate to cashless toll collection systems in a bid to reduce human interaction on expressways, as the Philippines continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the department said the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) will “concessionaires and operators to transition to a hundred percent electronic toll collection lanes,” no later than November 2. Cashless systems include RFID and automated fare collection systems, among others.
“Coordination is already ongoing between TRB and our concessionaires and operators. We are also working on the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the new policy to ensure smooth and expedient transition to contactless and cashless transactions,” TRB Executive Director Abraham Sales said.
For Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the largest toll operator in the Philippines, the group is ready to implement this new directive.
“Our group-wide RFID roll out is on track to comply with Department Order 2020-012 and we will be ready to implement contactless toll payments consistent with the timeline. Our expressway network… is primed for cashless and contactless transactions within the year,” MPTC President Rodrigo Franco said.
Department Order 2020-012 refers to an order issued earlier this month directing the TRB, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Land Transportation Office (LTO), to formulate a concrete policy that will ensure the smooth implementation of cashless transactions on toll expressways.
The new policy will cover all existing and future expressways. It aims “to ensure further protection of the public from the Covid-19, as it promotes adherence to health protocols such as physical distancing through limiting human intervention, and removing the traffic queues as well as congestion at toll plazas.”
Currently, expressways offer motorists various modes of payment for their toll. These include cash, tapand-go payments, and RFID.