What will it take to sort out RFID toll interoperability?

If you frequent the expressways, then this new push from some newly elected members of Congress is something you can get behind.

Representatives Sandro Marcos, Jolo Revilla, Dean Asistio, Oca Malapitan, Eric Martinez, and Edwin Olivarez have filed House Resolution 159. The goal of that resolution is to fast track the fully cashless system for our expressways, and to push the Toll Interoperability Project.

In 2020, the government pushed for the RFID system with the goal of going cashless, but that has met some resistance amongst the motoring public. Today, the tollways still operate cash lanes for vehicles that do not yet have RFID tags, but more importantly, the goal of having a single RFID electronic wallet is to be able to share a single source of funds that will cover all the major tollways.

As you may well know, there are two types of RFID tags in your motor vehicle needed (well, optional) for tollway driving: one from EasyTrip and another for AutoSweep. The EasyTrip system is from Metro Pacific, and that grants the motorist cashless access to their expressways such as the NLEX, SCTEX, SFEX, CALAX, CAVITEX and C5 LINK. The AutoSweep system is from San Miguel Corporation, and that grants the motorist cashless driving on SLEX, Skyway, NAIAX, TPLEX, and STAR.

RFID has become a contentious issue for motorists, and has led to issues with regards to the long queues for tag installation early on as well as issues with the inconsistencies in the sensors at toll gates. Not to mention, it also causes some confusion on which RFID to use when going through expressways with different toll operators (TPLEX to SCTEX, NAIAX to CAVITEX, etc). As for interoperability, the two companies are having difficulty making their respective tags compatible with one another as they use different RFID systems.

In a social media post, Rep. Revilla stated that citizens are still having difficulty with the use of tollways everyday with having to maintain two e-wallets, each one with its own “load”. With HR 159, they aim to check the progress and see what's taking the project so long and what can be done to speed it up.