Motorists without radio frequency identification (RFID) on their vehicles who will pass through expressways need not worry on being apprehended or penalized just yet.
This is because the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) has extended “until further notice” the transition period for tollways to go 100 percent cashless, which was supposed to end today (Jan. 11).
“The transition period prior to 100 percent cashless transaction continues to be in effect until further notice,” TRB spokesperson Julius Corpuz said in a mobile message.
“This means cash payments will still be accepted, motorists without RFID tags will not be apprehended, and RFID subscription and installation continues in many locations identified by the toll road operators,” he said.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the TRB have previously set a transition period from December 1, 2020 to January 11, 2021 to ensure the implementation of the shift to 100 percent cashless transactions on toll roads.
“Wala pong mangyayaring hulihan mula December 1 hanggang January 11, 2021 para sa mga sasakyang walang RFID,” the DOTr earlier said.
During the more than one month transition period, the agency said there would be no fines and penalties to be imposed on motorists without vehicle RFID. RFID installation will also continue even after the transition period for non-frequent tollway users.
“Matapos ang January 11, hindi na lahat ng lanes sa toll gate ay iko-convert bilang stickering lane. Magtatalaga na lamang ng isa o dalawang stickering lane, o kaya naman isang installation tent bago pumasok sa toll gate kung saan maaaring kabitan ng RFID ang mga sasakyan,” the DOTr has said.
“Dagdag pa rito, maglalagay ang mga toll operator ng malalaking signages sa mga stickering lanes, upang malaman ng mga motoristang wala pang RFID na doon sila dapat na pumila. Maaari silang ma-tiketan kung sila ay pipila sa mga RFID only lane, lalo na kung sila ay magdudulot ng abala sa ma sasakyang nasa likuran nila,” it added.
Corpuz said the decision extend the transition period is primarily to give due consideration to motorists who have not been able to secure yet their RFID tags.
“And also for the toll operators to be able to address some remaining system flaws/glitches and improve their systems to maximize the benefits for the motorists of the RFID system,” he said.
The TRB last month said more than 90 percent of transactions in toll roads were already cashless, with more than 3.7 million RFID stickers installed as of Dec. 8.
It said the improvement in penetration rate since Dec. 1 showed that the majority of motorists are now using cashless transactions in passing through tollways.
Senators have earlier urged the DOTr to suspend the implementation of the RFID cashless payment scheme on expressways amid complaints about traffic gridlocks caused by the implementation cashless toll transactions.
The DOTr, for its part, believes the implementation of cashless transactions is very much needed under the current situation to protect the health and safety of motorists amid the COVID-19 pandemic.