NLEx officials lay down solutions to RFID woes before Bulacan mayors

Marje Pelayo   •   December 11, 2020   •   258

MANILA, Philippines — Local chief executives of Bulacan Province met with officials of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) to discuss problems surrounding the implementation of the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system.

According to Mayor Ambrosio Cruz of Guiguinto, who also heads the League of Municipalities in Bulacan, they were satisfied with the plans presented to them by the NLEx officials as to how it will solve the problems related to the cashless transaction system along expressways.

Cruz said the NLEx management agreed to transfer the area of RFID installation and reloading stations as well as the use of hand held scanners to speed up the process of RFID reading.

One solution which NLEx offered is to maintain cash lanes subject to the approval of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Toll Regulatory Board.

Even though the mayors accepted the plan, they still warned the toll operator that they will not hesitate to suspend the expressway’s business permit if they fail to comply with what has been agreed.

Guiguinto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr., president of the Mayors’ League of Bulacan said, “Ang sabi ko sa kanila babantayan namin yan kasi baka mamaya temporary lang yan. In case magkaroon ng problema babalik kami sa inyo.”

“Apparently sabi ko nga ang ayaw kong mangyari dito yung ginawa ni Mayor Rex Gatchalian, but then again kung talagang hindi ito mabibigyan ng solusyon wala kaming magagawa but to cancel also your permit to operate,” he added.

Meanwhile, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian finally agreed to listen to NLEx officials over the RFID mess.

In a post on Thursday evening in his social media account, Gatchalian showed a copy of NLEx management’s action plan and said he is willing to meet with them to discuss in detail their proposed solutions.

Gatchalian decided to push through with the meeting as NLEx seemed to have withdrawn their plan of filing for a temporary restraining order against the Valenzuela local government.

The Toll Regulatory Board in a previous statement said, they will be strictly implementing the one hundred percent cashless transaction in all expressways, and will give motorists until January 11, 2021 to transition to the new system. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

Toll regulators to impose ‘three-strike policy’ for RFID violators

Marje Pelayo   •   February 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) will implement a ‘three-strike’ policy at toll plazas and apprehend motorists with insufficient load in their RFID stickers.

This is prompted by several reports that some motorists are abusing the ‘no apprehension policy’ for vehicles without RFID and continuously ignoring the cashless payment system.

Because of this, all motorists who are repeatedly violating the RFID system by passing through RFID lanes with insufficient load balance will be apprehended the third time they commit the offense.

DPWH targets to open first 5-km of NLEX connector before end of 2021

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced on Wednesday (January 20) that it targets to open the 5-kilometer portion of the NLEX Connector by the end of 2021.

The first 5 kilometers of the NLEX Connector links Caloocan Interchange, C3 and España Boulevard in Manila.

“Spanning a total of eight kilometers, the DPWH said the full NLEX Connector will be an all vehicle class elevated expressway that will traverse the C3 Road in Caloocan City pass through Abad Santos, Blumentritt, Dimasalang, España, Magsaysay Boulevard and eventually connect with the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa in Manila,” the DPWH said.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the project aims to ease traffic along EDSA.

The full NLEX Connector that spans 8 kilometers will feature four toll plazas and interchanges from C3 and España.

It is expected to reduce travel time between NLEX and South Luzon Expressway from two hours to just 20 minutes.

The 23-billion project is also seen to provide better access to Manila Ports (North Harbor) and airports (NAIA and Clark).

Kapag natapos itong connector lalong luluwag ang EDSA kasi lahat ng trucks na galing sa port magkakaroon ng option na mag NLEX or mag SLEX (As soon as the connector is completed, EDSA will be decongested as all trucks from the port will have the option to use either the NLEX or SLEX),” he said.

Villar said as they strive to complete the first 5 kilometers, they will also target to complete the NLEX Connector up to Sta. Mesa, Manila before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends. —AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

RFID system in expressways remains suspended ‘until further notice’ — TRB

Marje Pelayo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) announced that cashless transactions in expressways will remain suspended indefinitely.

According to TRB Spokesman Julius Corpus, the extension takes effect indefinitely to give toll operators enough time to fix and perfect the implementation of the radio frequency identification system (RFID).

This means all types of vehicles may pass through all expressway gates even without an RFID sticker as motorists may still pay in cash. 

Vehicles without RFID stickers will not be penalized or apprehended during the extended grace period.

Initially, the transition period for cash payments to cashless was until Monday (January 11).

In a way po is that tuloy-tuloy lamang po ang transition period until further notice. Tuloy-tuloy lamang po kahit na noon naipaalam natin sa mga motorista ang transition period ay hanggang January 11 lamang,” explained Corpus.

(In a way our transition period is ongoing until further notice. Though before we have informed the motorists that our transition period ends January 11, it is still ongoing.)

“Ang ating panibagong deriktiba ay ipagpapatuloy natin ang transition period na ito at para sa kapakanan po ng mga motoristang hindi pa nakabitan ng mga RFID stickers,” he concluded.

(Our new directive is that our transition period will continue for the benefit of motorists who still need to get RFID stickers.)

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