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        Solon: Suspend the cashless tollway policy until interoperability is functional

        Due to mounting complaints from motorists
        by Aris Ilagan Nov 4, 2020
        PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

        Concerned about mounting complaints from motorists regarding the looming 100% cashless transactions policy on major tollways, Representative Wes Gatchalian has asked for its implementation, scheduled on December 1, to be defered until the persisting problems are resolved.

        “It puzzles me why the DOTr (Department of Transportation) decided to implement a cashless tollway system when Easytrip and Autosweep are not yet compatible with each other’s tollway system,” said the lawmaker from Valenzuela City. “Since the government targets to have full interoperability by next year anyway, then we should also consider delaying the implementation of the cashless toll collection until next year.”

        Earlier, Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) director Abraham Sales said there won’t be another extension of the December 1 deadline. But as the date approaches, more and more complaints about technical glitches affecting interoperability are hounding the two tollway providers Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) and San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

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        “But implementing the cashless payment scheme without interoperability will only create more problems for our motoring public,” Gatchalian explained.

        Gatchalian also wants MPTC and SMC to expand the installation of RFIDs beyond Luzon and into far-flung areas in Visayas and Mindanao. Earlier this year, Gatchalian filed House Bill No. 6119, which seeks to establish an electronic toll collection system nationwide and requires all toll collection facilities on expressways to implement technologies and practices that allow for interoperability.

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        Gatchalian’s proposed measure also mandates all toll facilities to comply with requirements for toll interoperability within six months of the law’s enactment. Failure to do so would incur a P5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance on the part of the tollway owner or operator.

        In a previous story, we reported that the interoperability issues between MPTC’s Easytrip and SMC’s Autosweep RFID stickers can be traced to the use of different USB systems.

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        PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

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