TRB eyes use of E-tap cards for tollways

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2012 06:36 PM | Updated as of Jul 06 2012 02:38 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) wants tollway operators to consider using a single electronic collection payment, such as the E-tap card, for all expressways.

"The TRB can request them but eventually the market will force them to adopt such tollway payment," said TRB executive director Edmund Reyes, Jr.

The TRB, Cavite Infrastructure Corp. and Malaysia's RTS Technology SDN on Thursday signed an agreement to use E-tap as a means of collecting toll fees.

The E-tap card is a pre-paid value smartcard that will be used on a pilot basis at the Manila-Cavite Expressway starting July 16. There will be 3,000 free E-tap cards to be given away to motorists on July 16.

Reyes said Cavite expressway is a good starting point to help the TRB consider the inter-operability of the various toll expressways.

Motorists using the E-tap card can just tap it on a card reader and it will deduct the exact fare. Reloading can be done at a toll plaza. The E-tap card is priced between P15 to P25.

"Compared to other toll operators that charged P1,700 per card, the E-tap card costs very little only.  Right now the penetration rate of e-toll payment system is very low so there is a big opportunity for the market to grow. The technology embedded on this card is universal which means that other toll operators can follow suit. If and when it happens, then it would be very easy, faster, convenient to all motorists who ply the country’s expressways," Reyes said.

CIC president Andrew Deyto said E-tap cards will speed up the payment process for motorists at the tollways. The cards will initially be used on two lanes in Bacoor and two lanes in Kawit toll plazas.

"We will look at how the system will work and after two to three months we may go full blasts. We will also install dedicated E-tap lanes soon," he said.