DOTr to require contactless transactions at tollways

(Eagle News)–The Department of Transportation will soon be requiring cashless or contactless transactions at tollways.

In a statement, the DOTr said  Transportation Secretary Art Tugade has signed Department Order 2020-012, which directed concerned agencies of the DOTr  to formulate new processes and procedures within three  months to ensure the smooth implementation of the new policy.

The DOTr said the move “would complement other health protocols now being enforced by the government, such as physical distancing, as it aims to limit human intervention and remove the traffic queuing and congestion at the toll plazas.”

Under the department order, the Toll Regulatory Board was ordered 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  to submit a study exploring ways and means to allow for a full cashless and contactless system along expressways; and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to monitor the compliance of all Public Utility Vehicles on the mandatory use/installation of electronic tags or use of 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 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,” Tugade said.

He said that while it would not be easy, and there might be “initial inconveniences, let us look forward to the long-term benefit of it.”

The DOTr said contactless transactions will be implemented in the following: 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, including any extension of the existing expressway facilities mentioned, that may be constructed, established and/or operated as expressway toll facilities.”