It looks like plenty of motorists down south are buying into the shift from cash to RFID tags.
According to the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the number of vehicles equipped with Autosweep RFIDs now totals 2.7 million. For reference, the operator installed just 1.3 million stickers from 2015 to 2019, so more than half of those 2.7 million tags were installed recently.
The company also shared that 84.9% of toll collection on its expressways is now cashless despite the continued presence of cash lanes. SMC head Ramon Ang says this is a sign that more motorists are beginning to realize the benefits of a cashless toll system.
“More and more people are realizing the benefits of cashless transactions along our toll roads, especially in this pandemic. It saves motorists time and money as it cuts travel time and reduces fuel consumption,” Ang said in a statement, adding that the shift to RFIDs is also benefitting the environment.
“What this means is that today, there are lesser queues and faster throughput at almost all our toll plazas, because the majority are using RFID lanes. And because there’s lesser contact for cash payments, more motorists are protected from possible transmission of the virus, especially now that there’s news of newer strains,” he added.
SMC is also reminding motorists to keep tabs on their RFID balances. This is especially important to note considering that the government is mulling the implementation of a three-strike policy that will penalize vehicles for repeatedly entering RFID lanes with insufficient load.
It’s not hard to see why the use of RFIDs has shot up over the past several months. SMC now has a total of 160 stickering stations set up at toll plazas, government facilities, car dealerships, and transport terminals. This is in addition to roving caravans visiting villages to conduct stickering activities. Do you think our expressways will ever go 100% cashless?