Everything you need to know about the shift to cashless toll payments in December*

*The deadline has been extended by a month
by Leandre Grecia | Oct 26, 2020
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan, Leandre Grecia

RFID tollway stickers have been the talk of the town for some time now, as motorists and tollway operators have been rushing over the past few weeks to meet the government’s November deadline to shift to 100% cashless toll-payment systems.

But even with that deadline right around the corner, we’re guessing a lot of you still have a lot of questions regarding the matter, so we’re here to help you out. We’ve compiled some of the most important details that you need to know about RFIDs. Read on below for more.

1) Autosweep is to San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Tollways as Easytrip is to Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC).

If you feel like we’re already sounding like a broken record here, then know that we feel the same way. But these details have to be said again and again to help other motorists out. Anyway, to get a good look at which RFID is used along which expressway, you can check out the list below. Take a screenshot while you’re at it.

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Autosweep: SMC-operated tollways

  • South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)
  • NAIA Expressway (NAIAX)
  • STAR Tollway
  • Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX)

Easytrip: MPTC-operated tollways

  • North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)
  • Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)
  • Cavite-Manila Expressway (Cavitex)
  • Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX)
  • C5 South Link
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2) The deadline to get RFID tags has been moved.

In August, the Department of Transportation mandated all tollway operators to shift to the cashless payment system by November 2, 2020. Both SMC and MPTC have stated that their cashless toll-collection systems will be in place by this date, but due to unforseen circumstances, they are extending the deadline for RFID applications.

UPDATE, October 28, 2020: The DOTr has announced that it is pushing back the date of implementation of cashless tollway payments. The new deadline is now December 1, 2020. This is the last time the deadline will be moved, the agency added.

SMC’s recent statement reads: “After careful study and deliberation, and especially in consideration of so many motorists who have not been able to secure an Autosweep RFID account because of the volume of applications we have today, we have decided to extend the deadline to November 30. This means that from November 2 to 30, vehicles without RFID will still be allowed to enter the expressways.”

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Meanwhile, the NLEX Corporation also assured motorists that even without RFIDs, they will still be allowed passage through MPTC-operated tollways. “There’s no need for those who will not travel on November 2 or infrequent expressway travelers to be in a rush to get the RFID stickers since they can have the RFID installed on the day of their travel,” said NLEX Corporation president J. Luigi Bautista. “This is to avoid overcrowding and long queues at the installation sites.”

3) For now, only Autosweep RFID stickers can be used on Easytrip-compatible tollways, not the other way around.

The interoperability of these RFIDs has long been an issue among motorists, and until now, a lot of people are still asking about it, so we’re here to set the record straight. As of this writing, only Autosweep tags can be used along MPTC-operated tollways as long as you’ve opened an Easytrip account with the said tag. However, you still won’t be able to use Easytrip tags along SMC-operated tollways.

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In a nutshell, if you got an Autosweep tag first, you can use that to open an Easytrip account—meaning your car will have one RFID tag (Autosweep), but two separate accounts (Autosweep and Easytrip). ‘Interoperability’ in this sense is limited to having a single RFID sticker for two tollway accounts. You need to maintain sufficient load in both your Easytrip and Autosweep wallets, as the funds contained within them are not interchangeable. Note, too, that not all Easytrip installation sites have the capability to link your Easytrip account to your Autosweep RFID tag, so you’ll have to go to one that provides the service.

If you got an Easytrip RFID sticker first, SMC  won’t be able to use that for your Autosweep account as of this writing. We’ll keep you posted on further developments.

4) There are RFID installation sites that are open 24/7.

If you almost always don’t have the time to drive out just to get an RFID installed in the middle of the day, then you may do so in the middle of the night, so long as you’re not violating quarantine curfews and you follow travel guidelines.

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Here’s the list of RFID installation sites that are operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

24/7 Autosweep installation sites:

  • C5 Customer Service Center southbound, Skyway/NAIAX
  • Old NAIAX Drive-Thru westbound, Skyway/NAIAX
  • Southwoods Toll Plaza northbound, SLEX
  • After Calamba Entry Toll Plaza, SLEX
  • Eton Toll Plaza northbound, SLEX
  • TPLEX Tarlac Main Office northbound, SLEX

24/7 Easytrip installation sites:

  • Bocaue Barrier Lane, Lane X01, NLEX
  • Balintawak Lane, Lane N10, NLEX
  • CIC Customer Service northbound and southbound (ambulant), Cavitex
  • Merville Toll, C5 South Link
  • Taguig Toll Plaza, C5 South Link
  • Mamplasan-Greenfield Customer Service Center (Biñan-bound), CALAX
  • Laguna Boulevard Toll Plaza, CALAX (Class 1 vehicles only)
  • Laguna Technopark Toll Plaza, CALAX (Class 1 vehicles only)

4) You can also load up your Autosweep and Easytrip accounts online or via kiosks located outside the tollways.

Apart from the usual reloading booths along the major expressways or at toll plazas, there are also other ways to reload your RFIDs. To learn more on how to reload Autosweep accounts, click these blue words. As for our guide on reloading Easytrip accounts, you can click here.

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We hope you found these pointers helpful. If you have more questions regarding this, share them in the comments section. We’ll also keep this guide updated when new developments and guidelines are announced.

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan, Leandre Grecia
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