Clark City, Pampanga — A faster and more seamless travel experience can be expected by motorists using the country’s toll roads after the Toll Collection Interoperability Agreement is signed by all concerned stakeholders this month.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr), led by Secretary Arthur Tugade, and the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) pursued talks with toll road companies operating 13 expressways in Luzon.
Parties to the interoperability agreement include: San Miguel Holdings Corporation, Private Infra Development Corporation, Skyway O&M Corporation, South Luzon Tollways Corporation, Vertex Tollways Development Incorporated, Star Infrastructure Development Corporation, NLEX Corporation, Tollway Management Corporation, Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corporation, Manila Toll Expressway Systems Incorporated, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, Cavitex Infrastructure Corporation, PEA Tollway Corporation, MPCALA Holdings Incorporated, Ayala Corporation, and MCX Tollway Inc.
Under the agreement, the toll road companies will be required to make the necessary tweaks in their toll collection systems to make them interoperable and integrated.
For motorists using electronic tags, this means they can seamlessly use their electronic tag from one toll road operator in the toll road of another operator. For motorists still paying in cash, this means that in connected toll roads operated by different companies, they only have to get a ticket once at entry, and pay once at exit, regardless of which toll road they enter and exit from.
For example, after completion of the NLEX-SLEX connector roads, a motorist will only have to get a ticket once at an NLEX entry, and pay once at an SLEX exit.
“Our expressways are managed by different companies. But they have always demonstrated that they are willing to work together and work with the government if that means giving motorists, their customers, a better travel experience,” said Tugade. “Making our toll systems interoperable will definitely bring a new level of convenience to our motorists, especially during peak seasons,” he added.
The first phase of the interoperability agreement will cover electronic toll collection, which will use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The second phase will cover cash collection interoperability. It will take around six months for the first phase and another six months for the second phase.
Apart from the DOTr and TRB, the Department of Public Works and Highways, Land Transportation Office, and Bases Conversion and Development Authority are also parties to the toll collection interoperability agreement.