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Friday, December 18, 2020

DOTr Backtracks on Cashless Policy, Brings Back Cash Booths at Expressways


After another messy implementation (remember ADDA?), the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is backtracking on their 100 percent cashless policy at expressways. The government agency has now said that cash booths will make a comeback, and a no penalty policy will be implemented at tollways.

During his Senate inquiry, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said he already ordered for the continuous deployment of cash booths at expressways, and to not impose penalties or arrest any motorists due to RFID violations. He noted this will be implemented indefinitely to address the complaints of motorists due to the faulty RFID system.

This is also in relation to a Senate resolution urging the DOTr to suspend the implementation of Department Order No. 2020-012 that mandates the use of a cashless system in toll expressways to lessen the risk of transmitting COVID-19 and to ensure a more efficient traffic flow.

The House of Representatives also adopted a similar resolution.

That said, Tugade said he will continuously push for the implementation of toll interoperability, or the use of a single toll collection system, at all expressways to further ease traffic flow.

Early this month, San Miguel Corporation and Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation agreed to jointly test the use of cashless toll payment modes at NLEX, TPLEX, and SCTEX.

Tugade said they are hoping to fully implement the interoperability of the AutoSweep and EasyTrip radio frequency identification systems by middle of next year.

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