AT TOLLWAYS: 70% of motorists go digital

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    The country’s three toll operators yesterday said around 70 percent of motorists passing through the expressways have converted into the electronic payment system in line with the government’s mandate to help reduce the spread of the new coronavirus disease.

    Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), which operates the North Luzon, Subic-Clark-Tarlac, Manila-Cavite, C5 Link and the Cavite-Laguna expressways, has installed RFID stickers to 66.4 percent of motorists passing through its network as of this month, compared with 31.9 percent last July.

    This is equivalent to 1.52 million RFID stickers installed as of November 23, said Romulo Quimbo, MPTC communication chief.

    San Miguel Corp. (SMC), which operates the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, Skyway System and the South Luzon, NAIA and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union expressways, has installed 1.7 million stickers as of November 23, equivalent to 77 percent of motorists already using the electronic tollway collection, said Manuel Bonoan, Skyway O&M Corp., Manila Toll Expressway and Star Tollway Corp. president.

    Joseph Canlas, Ayala MCX operations manager, said 67 percent of motorists passing through the Muntinlupa Cavite expressway are already using RFID stickers.

    MPTC, SMC and Ayala Corp. have completed the conversion of their toll plazas into electronic payment systems in compliance with the mandate to fully shift to contactless payment by Dec. 1, 2020.

    Goddes Libiran, Department of Transportation (DOTr) assistant secretary, clarified in a press briefing that the December 1 deadline was imposed to tollways operators to fully migrate their tolls to electronic payment.

    From December 1 to January 11, toll operators will continue to install RFID stickers but starting January 12, the government will impose penalties to motorists that will pass through RFID tolls without stickers.

    This is part of the DOTr’s toll interoperability project which the agency has been pushing since 2017 but intensified this year due to the pandemic.