MOTORISTS WITH SMC AUTOSWEEP RFID TAGS NOW AT 2.7 MILLION, NUMBER SEEN TO GO UP

Ramon Ang

SAN Miguel Corporation (SMC) reported that 2.7 million vehicles now have Autosweep RFID tags. The figure doubled the number of stickers the company issued to motorists from 2015 to 2019 totaling 1.3 million.

“More and more people are realizing the benefits of cashless transactions along our toll roads especially in this pandemic. It saves motorists time and money as it cuts travel time and reduces fuel consumption. Apart from that, it helps in improving air quality along our road systems,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said.

Earlier, SMC also reported that use of electronic toll collection at its expressways have increased to 84.9%, despite the continuing availability of cash lanes.

He added that the company expects the number to go up further, even as government has deferred, until further notice, the full implementation of cashless toll collection along expressways, originally set for January 11. SMC operates the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Skyway System, NAIA Expressway, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.

Government mandated toll operators last year to transition to fully cashless transactions as a safety measure to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“Our roving caravans continue to go from village to village to install RFID stickers while our 160 installations sites are still available to motorists. We encourage everyone to join us in embracing this system for a better, safer and convenient travel experience especially in this time of COVID-19,” Ang said.

This year, in less than just two months, 304,571 stickers have already been issued by the company to various motorists in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

“What this means is that today, there are lesser queues and faster throughput at almost all our toll plazas, because majority are using RFID lanes. And because there’s lesser contact for cash payments, more motorists are protected from possible transmission of the virus, especially now that there’s news of newer strains,” Ang said.

Ang expressed hope that with government giving motorists more time to avail of free RFID stickers, and with the company’s ongoing efforts to maintain the optimum number of stickering stations, motorists will find it easier to transition to cashless transactions.

“While we have installed a record number of stickers these past two months, definitely, we’re no longer seeing the same rush we observed in October, September, and December last year. We also reached our target number of 156 stickering stations by end-December. As of middle of February, we actually had 160 stations. We have also simplified registration procedures. So now is really the best time to get your Autosweep RFID stickers,” he said.

SMC’s 160 Autosweep RFID stickering stations are spread out in different locations within and outside Metro Manila. These include Autosweep RFID Center officers, toll plaza, malls, government offices, transport terminal hubs, and car dealerships.

As the government considers the implementation of “3-strike policy” for motorists using ETC lanes with no load, SMC reminded existing RFID users to regular-ly check their balance and reload using different top-up options that include Autosweep Point-of-Sales, SMC Toll Gates, and accredited Merchant Reloading partners across the whole Luzon area.

Popular retail outlets offer over-the-counter reloading. These include Petron Treats, Savemore, SM Bills Pay and SM Business Services; SM Hypermarket, Waltermart, 7-Eleven, Shopwise and Shopwise Express, Family Mart, Rustan’s, Robinsons Department Store and Robinson’s Supermarkets; The Marketplace, Well-come supermarket, as well as payments centers Expresspay, Tambunting, LBC, Bayad Centers, and RD pawnshops.

Online reloading is also available, through partner banks BPI, Bank of Commerce, Union Bank, China Bank, Maybank, and popular gateways G-Cash, Pay Maya, Eon, Coins.ph, and Justpay.To. Self-service reloading is also available via Touchpay, ECPay, and E-Tap.

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