Wednesday, January 31, 2018

DOTr Orders TRB to Scrap New Skyway Scheme

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has directed the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to scrap the new collection scheme at the Skyway and revert to the old one immediately.

Secretary Tugade said that a new toll collection system may not be put in place until it can be assured that it can be implemented smoothly.

“In governance, public convenience always comes first. It’s always public good over regulation,” said Tugade.

Last Saturday, January 27, the Skyway O&M Corporation began implementing a modified toll collection system, which coincides with the opening of a new toll plaza on the northbound section of the elevated Skyway.

The new scheme resulted in heavy traffic, and the Skyway management has temporarily reverted to the old “pay as you enter scheme” effective Tuesday night.

“These changes have to be communicated well to the public. We cannot afford confusion on the road because that will surely result in congestion. Dapat mas mabilis ang biyahe sa mga expressway kaya nga “express.” Ang mga karagdagang toll plaza, dapat nagpapabilis din ng biyahe, and not the other way around,” Tugade added.

Unifying Toll Systems

The DOTr-TRB, together with expressway operators in the country, has already facilitated the implementation of partial interoperability of toll operations since 20 December 2017.

Under partial interoperability, Autosweep RFID users may already use the same RFID tags in expressways operated by the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) namely NLEX, CAVITEX, MPCALA and SCTEX, using Easytrip RFID tags. Users would just need to visit a loading kiosk for account registration.

As for expressways owned by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) namely SLEX, STAR, TPLEX and NAIAX, their Autosweep readers are already undergoing modification in order for them to to read Easytrip tags as well. These are expected to be interoperable-ready by first quarter of 2018.

The DOTr-TRB is currently discussing with SMC and the company’s software provider for the earlier re-programming of their system and implementation on their end.

The second phase of the interoperability project will be implemented in March 2018. Under this phase, SMC-operated expressways will be able to read Easytrip RFID tags. However, users would still have to maintain two accounts.

Meanwhile, the third phase will be implemented by September 2018. In this phase, all expressway users can go from North to South with just one account.

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