The Department of Transportation (DOTr) wants tollways to be cashless. It has recently ordered all concerned agencies under it to formulate new processes and procedures within the next 3 months to make this happen. The move is aimed to limit person-to-person contact in the hopes of mitigating the spread of COVID-19. As such, RFIDs may soon be a requirement for travel on tollways.
Under Department Order 2020-012, which was signed on August 13, 2020, by DOTr secretary, Arthur Tugade, ordered the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to promulgate rules and regulations requiring concessionaires and operators of toll expressways to fully transition to an electronic toll collection system. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) on the other hand, was ordered to submit a study exploring ways and means to allow for a full Cashless and Contactless System along expressways.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), was also directed to monitor the compliance of all Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) on the mandatory use/installation of electronic tags or other cashless systems in their units.
“We carry with us the burden of ensuring that our transport facilities will not be a transmission vector of the [COVID-19] disease, while at the same time, providing an efficient system of public transport. With both tasks at hand, there is a need to strike a balance. Requiring contactless transactions is one of our ways of doing it. And in achieving the balance, naiintindihan natin na hindi laging magiging madali sa umpisa (we understand that it is not always easy at the start). If there will be initial inconveniences, let us look forward to the long-term benefit of it,” said Sec. Tugade.
Contactless transactions with the use of RFID, will be implemented in the following identified limited access facilities: South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (Coastal Road), North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), South Metro Manila Skyway, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX); and all other road networks in the future, including any extension of the existing expressway facilities mentioned, that may be constructed, established and/or operated as expressway toll facilities.
So far, all San Miguel Corporation-operated expressways have already announced that they will shift to a fully cashless system by October of this year, while other tollways operators have also announced similar initiatives within the year.
RFID installation is free at all expressways with a minimum required load.