Clock ticking on free toll at Skyway 3 as TRB OKs provisional rates
MANILA, Philippines—The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) approved provisional rates for the 18-kilometer Skyway Stage 3 elevated expressway in Metro Manila weeks after a public dispute with builder and operator San Miguel Corp (SMC).
The TRB said it approved a toll of P264 for the entire Skyway 3 running from Buendia, Makati to Balintawak in Quezon City. This was lower than SMC’s original proposed rate of P274.
Fees from Buendia to Sta. Mesa will cost P105, Sta. Mesa to Ramon Magsaysay will cost P30 while Ramon Magsaysay to Balintawak will cost P129, the TRB said.
Those rates apply to class 1 vehicles such as cars, sports utility vehicles and vans.
Motorists have been using Skyway 3 free of charge since its soft opening last Dec. 29.
SMC, a foods, drinks and infrastructure conglomerate that financed the project, still cannot charge toll until the TRB issues the notice to start collection.
The TRB said the provisional toll matrix “will be published once a week for three consecutive weeks and a bond will be required to be posted by the petitioner.”
Nevertheless, the approval provides SMC a more definite schedule when it can start collecting toll at the Skyway 3, a mega project whose conceptualization and construction spanned multiple administrations.
The dispute over toll triggered a row between SMC and TRB earlier this month after the company said it was spending billions of pesos in maintenance costs while being barred from recovering those expenses from motorists using the expressway.
At one point, SMC said it would temporarily close down Skyway 3 on March 16 while calling out the regulator for inaction on its toll petition.
The two also clashed over the completion rate of Skyway 3, used by an estimated 60,000 motorists per day.
Earlier, TRB spokesman Julius Corpus said SMC was still in the process of installing and testing its toll collection equipment.
There will be a “joint testing” exercise with the TRB, SMC and an independent consultant on March 29, the regulator said.
This was to “ensure that there are no system glitches or flaws to avoid a repeat of the RFID problems we had in the past.”
The Skyway 3 provides an alternative route to key parts of Metro Manila and links the North Luzon Expressway to SMC’s tollroads like the Metro Manila Skyway and South Luzon Expressway.
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