e-Pass system faltering in SLEx tollgates | Inquirer Opinion

e-Pass system faltering in SLEx tollgates

09:31 PM October 21, 2011

I am a regular user of the Skyway e-Pass. Instead of making my life easier, the e-Pass is causing me—and I am sure many other users, too—a great deal of inconvenience.

After replacing my old e-Pass with a new one, I ran into a series of problems. First, my car was stopped at the Nichols northbound exit gate because the e-Pass sensor showed that my new e-Pass was “inactive.”  But when I had the e-Pass verified at the Bicutan office of Skyway O&M Corporation, we were told that there was nothing wrong with it. For several days after that incident, I was able to use the e-Pass without any problem. But last September 12, around 10 p.m., the e-Pass sensor at the Alabang southbound exit gate failed to “read” my e-Pass purportedly because of insufficient balance. I was surprised: The yellow light at the Nichols northbound exit gate did not flash to indicate insufficient balance when I passed there earlier that day and I regularly load my e-Pass.

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The following day, at around 9:45 a.m., while I was passing through the Nichols northbound exit gate, the e-Pass sensor failed to read my new e-Pass again, and I was made to wait under the heat of the sun for several minutes while it was being verified.  After several minutes, the unit was declared invalid. I was not allowed to pass using my e-Pass and was instead made to pay cash. I was advised that my e-Pass was not valid due to my alleged failure to comply with some of the requirements of Skyway O&M.

Frustrated, I sent my secretary to Skyway O&M that same day to verify, and I was dismayed to know that my new e-Pass was not honored because the signature appearing in the application for the new e-Pass was not the same as the one in the registration papers of the vehicle on which the e-Pass was attached. My secretary is the registered owner of the car.

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OPINION

This very minor requirement could not have been a problem if only the e-Pass system and Skyway O&M’s employees are more efficient.  First, I never encountered a problem with my old e-Pass.

Secondly, their office had the opportunity to notify me of this requirement at least twice, when I sent representatives to their office on two occasions prior to the September 13 incident.

To add insult to injury, after sorting all of this out and getting the required paperwork done and loading P2,000, my e-Pass didn’t work again on October 5.

Personally, I am convinced my concern is not isolated.  I have met other e-Pass users who have had similar experiences particularly at the Bicutan southbound exit gate.

Like other e-Pass users, the only reason I buy and use an e-Pass is to make my travel along the South Luzon Express Highway faster and more convenient, but the inefficient e-Pass system and Skyway O&M personnel defeat the very purpose of the e-Pass.

Perhaps with the amount of toll fees Skyway O&M is charging motorists, it can easily address this concern and upgrade its e-Pass system.

—OLIVIA MALIKSI,

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concerned Skyway motorist,

c/o [email protected]

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TAGS: e-Pass, opinion, Readers, South Luzon Express Way, Tollgates, travel
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