San Miguel Corporation (SMC) said it is ready to implement cashless toll collection, but will extend the issuance of free RFID stickers until Nov. 30 amid long lines at installation stations.

SMC in a press release Friday said full cashless toll collection can be implemented at Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), the Skyway System, NAIA Expressway, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) starting Nov. 2, its original deadline.

However, the company saw a surge in the number of motorists converting to their Autosweep RFID (Radio-frequency identification) system, with many still not able to receive their RFID stickers.

“By Nov. 2, all lanes at our toll plazas will be fully capable and converted to electronic toll collection, in full compliance with the government’s mandate. However, after careful study and deliberation, and especially in consideration of so many motorists who have not been able to secure an Autosweep RFID account because of the volume of applications we have today, we have decided to extend the deadline to Nov. 30,” the company said.

SMC set Nov. 30 as the “absolute” deadline for sticker issuance. Vehicles with no RFID stickers will not be allowed to enter the expressways starting Nov. 30. Motorists that do not comply will be issued a citation ticket.

The Transportation department in August issued a department order to make it mandatory for toll road operators to use cashless transactions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

SMC also set up installation and reloading lanes at toll plaza entry points.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. also offers free Easytrip RFID stickers. —Jenina P. Ibanez