TRB assures public they will improve situation in toll plazas
Despite heavy traffic and glitches in expressways on the first day of the implementation of cashless and contactless transactions in toll plazas, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) assured the public they will work with operators to improve the situation.
In a press conference, TRB Executive Director Abraham Sales admitted that they received reports of traffic in toll plazas on the first day of using radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers.
“What we observed yesterday… admittedly, early in the morning we received reports that some areas are experiencing traffic and we continue to monitor… That is what we call birth pain because it was the day one of the implementation of this cashless toll collecting program,” Sales said.
“Since we monitored in the past days or weeks that there are still a lot of motorists getting RFID… We expected (it), since it’s also a long weekend, that a lot of vehicles going out will not have RFID,” he added.
Sales said they coordinated with operators, especially to their units rinstalling stickers, to make sure vehicles will not pile up.
He said traffic was observed in areas such as Sto. Tomas,Batangas; Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City; Sta. Rita, Laguna; and Bocaue, Bulacan.
Sales said some national roads were also affected by the ong queues in toll plazas due to the RFID installation event.
“Came 10:30 (am), the report we received is the queue already subsided and by 11am it is the usual heavy traffic. At noontime, the reports we received is the flow of traffic normalized and then again came afternoon, queuing began,” he said.
“There are glitches, problems but we will continue to monitor and coordinate with the operators to improve the situation,” he added.
Sales said compared to their first day, the situation in toll plaza is much better.
“Today, as we compare the situation versus yesterday, I asked the operators, their response is (the situation) is much better,” Sales said.
“Hopefully in the coming days, the situation will be better and we will hit our target of 100 percent cashless transaction on toll collection booths,” he added.
Seasonal travellers due to the long weekend and motorists who pass toll gates with no load in their account also caused long lines.
Assistant Transport Secretary Goddess Libiran reiterated that no apprehension nor penalties will be given to motorists if they don’t install RFID stickers even beyond December 1.
“The call of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to our toll operators, and we know they are doing it now, is to intensify the increase of RFID outside installations… so that people will no longer need to go to tollgates to have their RFIDs installed,” Libiran said.
DOTr also appealed to the public to reload in advance to prevent the surge of traffic in toll plazas.
She said the department gave motorists enough time to install RFID stickers.
Libran said operators made exemptions and policy adjustments, like accepting cash payments, because of Tuesday’s situation.
“But it will not happen every day, we still have to instill discipline amongst our motorists,” she added. Ella Dionisio/DMS