SAN MIGUEL CORP. (SMC) on Tuesday said its tollways are ready to go 100% cashless by Jan. 11 after it hit its target to open 156 new radio-frequency identification (RFID) installation stations before the end of December.
In an e-mailed statement, SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said: “Back in November, and again in mid-December, we committed to open over 100 new RFID stations in various locations before the end of the year.”
“Even as we were preoccupied with soft-opening our Skyway 3 and then had a long New Year’s break, I’m happy to report to the public that we also reached our target 156 Autosweep RFID installation stations last Dec. 29,” he added.
With the additional RFID installation stations, SMC is no longer seeing long lines towards the end of Jan. 11, Mr. Ang noted.
The Transportation department earlier set Dec. 1 as the deadline for toll operators to implement cashless payments, but the transition period will end on Jan. 11.
Toll operators will still be required to have lanes for the installation of RFID stickers beyond Jan. 11.
“With the amount of stickers we have already issued over the past few months, particularly from November through December when we started increasing the number of stations, coupled with now 156 total RFID stations that are well spread out through Metro Manila and neighboring cities and provinces, we see no major problems in serving the remaining number of motorists without stickers yet,” Mr. Ang explained.
SMC operates the STAR (Southern Tagalog Arterial Road) Tollway, South Luzon Expressway, Skyway, NAIA Expressway, and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.
Mr. Ang reiterated SMC will retain its installation activities and “even expand programs to reach villages and barangays.” — Arjay L. Balinbin