DOTr: Cashless transactions on all tollways required by Nov. 2

(Eagle News)–The Department of Transportation is requiring toll expressways to implement cashless transactions for all vehicles by Nov. 2.

In a statement, the DOTr said covered by the policy were the following identified limited access facilities: South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (CAVITEX), North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), South Metro Manila Skyway, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), and “all other road networks, including any extension of the existing expressway facilities mentioned, that may be constructed, established and/or operated as expressway toll facilities.”

The DOTr announced the deadline in  Department Order 2020-012 signed by Transportation Secretary Art Tugade on Aug. 13.

The order also directed the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Land Transportation Office-Philippines (LTO), to “formulate new processes and procedures to ensure the smooth implementation of cashless transactions on toll expressways.”

The TRB, the order said, shall ensure that concessionaires and operators install electronic tags or other cashless systems, such as but not limited to, RFID, Automated Fare Collection System, among others.

“Pursuant to its function as the implementing authority over limited access facilities, the TRB is directed to promulgate rules and regulations that will require concessionaires and operators to transition to a 100% electronic toll collection lanes,” the order added.

According to TRB executive director Abraham Sales, coordination is already ongoing between TRB and the concessionaires and operators.

Under the order, the LTO will be in-charge of studying and exploring ways and means to allow for the full cashless and contactless system, while the LTFRB will monitor the compliance of all Public Utility Vehicles.

“The new policy ensures further protection of the public from the infectious coronavirus disease 2019 (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,” the DOTr said.