Philippines moves toward nationwide tolling interoperability

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Drivers in the Philippines can expect a faster and more seamless travel experience on the country’s toll roads after the Toll Collection Interoperability Agreement is signed by all the relevant stakeholders later this month.

The Philippines Department of Transportation (DOTr), led by the Secretary of Transportation, Arthur Tugade, and the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), has pursued talks with the toll road companies operating the country’s 13 expressways, which has led to the new unification system. Under the agreement, the toll road companies will be required to make the necessary tweaks in their toll collection systems to make them fully interoperable and integrated.

For drivers using electronic tags, this means they will be able to seamlessly use their electronic tag from one toll road operator on the toll roads of any of the other operators. For motorists still paying in cash, this will mean that on connected toll roads operated by different companies, they will only have to get a ticket once at entry, and pay once at exit, regardless of which toll road they enter and exit from.

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. The signatories anticipate that it will take around six months for the first phase and another six months for the second phase, with nationwide toll interoperability expected to be achieved by the end of 2018.

“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.”

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. The participating toll road operators are: 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.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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