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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

House passes bill to broaden alternatives for paying late tolls

Rep. José Hernández Concepción

By The Star Staff

The island House of Representatives has approved legislation that would broaden alternatives for drivers to pay for their delinquent highway tolls.

Joint Resolution 627 gives various public agencies and private entities about 90 days to establish the mechanisms and adopt the necessary regulations for interconnection of the computerized systems of the vehicle inspection centers, collectors, and the digital Driver Services Center (CESCO by its Spanish acronym) system.

The idea is to allow drivers who own money on tolls to pay them when they renew their automobile registration every year.

The measure mandates the integration of systems and regulation of key entities involved in toll collection, including the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP), the Highways and Transportation Authority (ACT), the Puerto Rico Innovation and Technology Service (PRITS), the Treasury Department, and Professional Account Management LLC (PAM), to streamline the toll payment process.

Rep. José Hernández Concepción, the legislation’s author, said the aim is to prevent long lines at the AutoExpreso office that occur when drivers are delinquent in their toll payments.

He said the opportunity to pay the debts at inspection centers, collection shops and CESCO Digital will facilitate the payment process and add alternatives for overcoming drivers’ difficulties with the AutoExpreso system.

The measure, which was approved without amendments, received 39 votes in favor and no votes against it. Two lawmakers abstained from voting. It must now go to the Senate for consideration.

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