RFID transactions rise to 85%

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    Motorists using the cashless electronic toll collection (ETC) system at the Skyway and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) have increased to 85 percent, helping significantly improve traffic throughput at the toll plazas, according to San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

    SMC, which operates the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, SLEX, Skyway System, NAIA Expressway and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, said the higher utilization of Autosweep RFID toll collection has significantly improved traffic at its toll plazas.

    “Since December, and even through January and February, there has been a big improvement in traffic throughput at almost all our toll plazas. We’re no longer seeing the kind of lines we used to have when majority of motorists were using cash payments,” said Ramon Ang, SMC president and chief operating officer.

    The government’s mandate to shift to fully cashless payment was supposed to take full effect last January 11. This has been deferred to allow more motorists, particularly non-regular users of tollways and those living in far-off provinces, ample time to avail of free RFID stickers. As such, cash lanes are still available at expressways.

    Meanwhile, SMC said it will comply with the Toll Regulatory Board’s plan to implement a “Three-Strike Policy” for erring motorists who use ETC lanes with insufficient load credits.
    Ang said the company will abide by the new policy as its system is able to monitor repeat offenders.

    Under the three-strike policy, erring motorists will receive a reminder to load for the first offense, a warning for the second offense, and apprehension and pre-COVID penalties for those who commit the offense for the third time. (M. Iglesias)