SMC now has 156 RFID installation stations, announces full cashless by January 11
Following their commitment to open more installation sites before end of 2020, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced that it now has a total of 156 RFID installation areas ready to cater to motorists.
SMC president and COO Ramon Ang made the announcement, saying that they have met their self-imposed deadline to put up Autosweep RFID installation stations, especially offsite areas, to tap more motorists.
“Back in November, and again in mid-December, we committed to open over 100 new RFID stations in various locations before end of the year. Even as we were preoccupied with soft-opening our Skyway 3 and then had a long New Year’s break, I’m happy to report to the public that we also reached our target 156 Autosweep RFID installation stations, last Dec. 29,” Ang said.
“With our continuous rollout of additional RFID stations which started November, and the completion of our target 156 stations by end-December, we’re no longer seeing long lines at the stations. We will continue to serve and accommodate all motorists wanting to install their free Autosweep stickers as we approach the January 11 full implementation of cashless toll collection on all expressways set by government, and even after that” he added.
The company also said it converted all but one of its 66 dedicated “onsite” or toll plaza stations into 24/7 stickering stations. To note, SMC is the operator of the STAR (Southern Tagalog Arterial Road) Tollway, South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Skyway, NAIA Expressway (NAIAX), and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).
Aside from that, they are also managing nine RFID centers, 18 gas station installation sites, 11 local government and Land Transportation Office (LTO) sites, and 44 mall sites. They have also put up stickering sites at three major transportation terminal hubs, two home builders depots and three showrooms. 11 of the 156 installation sites are by appointment to manage traffic congestion in the areas.
According to Ang, adding more offsite installation stations for RFID stickers was done to tap more non-regular users of its toll roads, concentrated mostly in the south.
Earlier reports stated that there was a surge of non-regular expressway users trying to beat the government’s deadline as well as shortage of RFID stickers, resulted in long queues.
While they are expecting another spike in RFID installation, the SMC chief expressed confidence that there would be no long lines compared to those experienced before as the latest government deadline, slated January 11, draws near.
“With the amount of stickers we have already issued over the past few months, particularly from November through December when we started increasing the number of stations, coupled with now 156 total RFID stations that are well spread out through Metro Manila and neighboring cities and provinces, we see no major problems in serving the remaining number of motorists without stickers yet,” Ang said.
“But of course, we want to reiterate that our installation activities will continue even after January 11. There is no need to panic and rush to the stations. We will retain our installation activities and even expand programs to reach villages and barangays,” he concluded.
Photos from Ruben D. Manahan I, San Miguel Corporation