MANILA - The Toll Regulatory Board on Wednesday said it aims to fully implement interoperability between the different toll collection systems in the country by January 2024.
TRB Executive Director Alvin Carullo told the House Committee on Transportation that the policies, technical and system architecture, front and back-end operations, financial, and toll road user management aspects of the project are expected to be completed this 2023.
Under the project, which began in 2017, toll operators are required to make adjustments in their systems to enable interoperability and integrated toll collection.
The TRB said it will also require the collection of fees to be “fully cashless”.
“For the full implementation of the interoperability, the precondition is that the transaction should be fully cashless to be efficient,” Carullo said.
Commuters who rarely use the expressways will be provided “loading stations,” Carullo said.
“If you are a one-time user, we can come up with a scheme that instead of paying cash, they can avail of the load before entering the tollway or other modes,” Carullo told the panel.
The TRB, stressed, the preconditions all need to be addressed before fully implementing the interoperability project, which includes real-time charging of load.
“The real time charging of loads, that [is] a real problem still now because sometimes you will load right now, but you will receive the load… maybe 2 or 3 hours,” Carullo explained.
From 91 percent of vehicles that availed of cashless transactions on Luzon’s tollways in December 2020, the number dropped to 70 percent in October 2022, the TRB said.
Congresswoman Bernadette Herrera meanwhile called out tollway operators over the long lines at toll gates despite the implementation of RFID tags.
The TRB explained, operators admitted that due to the short preparation time given to rollout cashless payments in 2020, they were not able to secure the best quality RFID tags. But Carullo said the companies are already adopting a more reliable RFID brand.
“Right now the brand is being adopted by both concessionaires [MPTC and San Miguel],” Carullo replied.
Based on a test conducted, he said the readability of RFID tags along the North Luzon Expressway and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway “tremendously improved” from a low of at least 49 percent to an average of 99.78 to 99.81 percent last year.
House of Representatives, Congress, Transportation, Tollways, cashless, RFID, TRB, ANC, ANC promo