The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) recently pursued talks with toll road companies regarding the Toll Collection Interoperability Agreement. This agreement aims to provide a faster and more seamless travel experience for the motorists of Luzon by unifying toll collection operations.

Under the agreement, the toll road companies will be required to make changes in their respective toll collection systems in order for these road networks to be integrated and interoperable. For motorists using electronic tags may use just one device from one toll road to another, even with two different operators. For those using cash as a payment method, motorists only have to get a ticket once at entry, and pay once at exit, regardless of which toll road they enter and exit from, regardless of operator.

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 DOTr says it will take approximately six months for the first phase and another six months for the second phase. 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.

Upon the completion of the NLEX-SLEX connector roads, motorists will only have to get a ticket once at an NLEX entry, and pay once at an SLEX exit.

“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. Making our toll systems interoperable will definitely bring a new level of convenience to our motorists, especially during peak seasons,” said Arthur Tugade, Secretary of DOTr.

The first phase is expected to begin once the agreement is signed by all concerned stakeholders this month.

Parties to the interoperability agreement include: 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.