NLEx tellers to keep jobs despite tollways going cashless
CITY OF MALOLOS—Not a single teller manning the tollbooths at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) will be displaced when its operator uses cashless transactions starting Nov. 2, NLEx officials said on Friday.
The full shift to “no-contact” toll payments, which will also be enforced at the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, the Manila-Cavite Expressway, and the Cavite-Laguna Expressway, will have “no impact at all on our organization,” said lawyer Romulo Quimbo, NLEx senior vice president for communications.
These motorways are owned and operated by Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), which is heeding a Department of Transportation (DOTr) order requiring cashless tollbooths to help control the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The new system will also ease traffic congestion and accelerate a campaign for expressway motorists to sign up for radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers, which will make the cashless system work efficiently, according to Rodrigo Franco, MPTC president and chief executive officer. He said the stickers can be bought online.
The South Luzon Expressway, the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (Star) tollway, the Skyway system, the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) and Naia (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) expressway, operated by conglomerate San Miguel Corp., will also retain toll employees when they start cashless transactions, also on Nov. 2.
“Tellers who will be affected by lane automation will be reassigned to other areas of the tollways, including the new Skyway Stage 3 and the SMC Tollways’ RFID department,” said Jon Hernandez, SMC media affairs officer.
The Skyway has 130 ETC (electronic toll collection)-capable lanes, while SLEx operates 134 ETC lanes. All 36 lanes at the Naiax and 58 lanes at Star tollway are ETC-capable. TPLEx has 37 ETC lanes but SMC intends to expand the number to 52. —CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE
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