Tollway operators sign MOA for interoperability system testing for cashless toll payment
After implementing the toll mandatory cashless collections to start December 1, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently bared that the tollway operators have signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for the interoperability of their system.
Last Friday, San Miguel Corporation TPLEX Corp. (SMCTC), the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), and the NLEX Corp. have agreed to conduct testing of equipment interoperability.
The jointly-signed memorandum covers the test of AutoSweep and EasyTrip radio frequency identification (RFID) cashless toll payments for the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) and on the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), and to determine the Read Rate Percentage.
To give you a background, the SMCTC, a San Miguel Holdings Corporation (SMHC) subsidiary, and the concessionaire and the operator of the TPLEX, uses AutoSweep RFID tag. The MPTC, on the other hand, is the investment holding company of the NLEX Corp. (operator of the NLEX and SCTEX) and utilizes the EasyTrip RFID tag for toll collection.
According to the transportation department, the test is part of the ongoing campaign to implement a policy of toll interoperability for the fast, efficient, and seamless travel of motorists along various toll roads, as the country continues to recover from the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The agreement was signed by NLEX Chief Finance Officer Jose Luigi Bautista and NLEX Corp. Chief Finance Officer Maria Theresa Wells; together with MPTC president and CEO Rodrigo Franco as well as SMHC head Lorenzo Formoso III and SMHC CFO Raoul Romulo.
Meanwhile DOTr Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, who witnessed the signing, expressed his appreciation to the toll operators and concessionaires after showing keenness in this endeavor that would fast-track initiatives that would lead to toll interoperability.
“We are grateful to our private partners who have demonstrated their unparalleled support in this project. We need their assistance to fast-track the necessary measures to fully implement toll interoperability. Hindi ‘ho namin ito kakayanin mag-isa. Tulung-tulong ‘ho tayo muli. At dahil sa kinakaharap nating pandemya, kailangan 'ho nating bilisan ang programang ito,” Tugade was quoted as saying.
Further, a steering committee will be created—as based in the MoA—to implement and monitor the tollway operators’ compliance with the contract. Also , there will be 45 vehicles under different vehicle classifications that will comprise the test.
Would this mean that soon, one of the those stickers that you have painstakingly took just to beat the December 1-deadline for the cashless tollway payment will no longer be needed? What do you guys think?
Photos from Department of Transportation