Did you experience the rough start to 100% cashless expressways yesterday? If yes, you can take solace in the idea the transition won’t be as confusing moving forward. In fact, the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) says it won’t be long before RFID compliance on its expressways reaches 100%.
During a press conference held earlier today with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), the operator claimed that RFID penetration along its expressways is steadily rising and that it will only be a matter of time before 100% compliance is achieved.
“Our penetration rate for yesterday was at 83%, ganun po kataas. As you can recall, when we had the first presscon, we are just at 65%. But surprisingly, yesterday, because of the measures we implemented, we achieved 83%,” MPTC vice president of operations management West Dionisio said, referring to the RFID situation up north.
“So konting konti na lang po talaga, 17% na lang po yung binubuno natin. And I was mentioning it earlier, let’s give it a week. Yung mga daily users po natin ng expressway, they can comply. Konting-konti na lang po yung hinahabol natin in terms of north traffic,” she added.
Meanwhile, down south, MPT South operations management head Ella Francisco said that 99% of RFID transactions yesterday were cashless. The missing 1% from that figure is comprised of toll-exempt cases like police or military vehicles.
“Kahapon po, 99%. Yung 1% are the toll-exempt vehicles. Halimbawa po nito ay yung mga pulis o military vehicles. So wala ho kaming kinolektahan ng cash payments,” Francisco said.
“Sa simula, nung umaga, lahat ng lanes pinipilahan [for RFID installation]. Pero towards the middle of the day and up to the evening, doon na po sila sa designated RFID installation lanes so ang mga may RFID ho ay dire-diretso na ho sila nakaka-exit sa RFID lanes.”
Francisco acknowledged, however, that there were also cases of motorists trying to enter with insufficient load—around 30% of motorists. To cope, Franciso says MPT South personnel were stationed at lanes to top-up RFID accounts via cash. This is similar to what happened up north yesterday, though the situation along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) was noticeably worse.
“Kasi siguro ho nakalimutan nila na yung rightmost lane na tumatanggap ng cash noong November 30 na December 1 ay full RFID na. Doon po naming na-observe na nakapila yung mga walang sufficient load and ready to pay cash. Tinanggap na ho namin doon yung bayad nila for reload sa kanilang mga accounts.”
There might still be a few adjustments to make, but if MPTC’s word is anything to go by, we’re moving in the right direction. So, when do you think our expressways will reach 100% RFID compliance? Let us know in the comments.