By The Star Staff
San Juan District 3 Rep. José “Cheito” Hernández Concepción announced Tuesday the filing of a resolution to investigate the hundreds of complaints from drivers regarding the AutoExpreso system.
House Resolution 1103, filed Tuesday, orders a detailed investigation into the entire AutoExpreso operation, as well as an evaluation of alternatives for the highway toll system finally operating satisfactorily.
“For several weeks we have received dozens of complaints from drivers associated with the improper charges that the AutoExpreso system is executing on their accounts,” the lawmaker said. “The complaints range from charges for passing through toll plazas that they have not been through, to serious discrepancies in the balances. These situations are unacceptable. If the complaints outlined by citizens are corroborated, the operators of the AutoExpreso must answer for them.”
“The operation of the AutoExpreso system has to be fair, transparent and efficient for everyone, otherwise it is not acceptable for yours truly,” Hernández Concepción added. “Our people must rest assured that this system, which is so widely used, operates normally, without shortcomings or doubts. We have to remember that it is about money, money in fines that drivers allege they did not commit, ‘errors’ in balance sheets. … These things have to be corrected now.”
Citizens have used social networks to denounce the irregularities. One such post reads as follows: “I put $10.00 on the AutoExpreso [account], I have not gone through any toll and today it has $2.50 left. A few days ago I put $20.00 on it and yesterday it had negative $3.40. I THINK THEY ARE STEALING FROM US THAT’S HOW 2024 STARTED.”
“This is not a new issue,” Hernández Concepción said. “Unfortunately, since its implementation, the AutoExpreso system has faced difficulties that have called into question its operation. In the past, colleagues like Rep. José ‘Memo’ González worked on the issue successfully. But the system tends to revert to the same flaws and shortcomings as before that cost people money. Drivers don’t trust the system anymore and that’s very dangerous.”
On Jan. 10, 2022, the Highways and Transportation Authority filed Regulation Number 9353, which establishes the rules that will govern the subscription, use, fines, infractions and payment of the AutoExpreso system.
“This regulation came into force in February 2022,” the legislator noted. “But the system is failing again; it is totally unacceptable. In the House of Representatives, we are going to investigate this quickly and urgently.”