SLEX, NLEX eyeing barrier-less tollways by November, says Tulfo

SLEx, NLEx eyeing barrier-less tollways by November, says Tulfo

/ 04:48 PM April 04, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Entry points of major expressways in the country will be barrier-less by around November so that vehicles can move seamlessly and avoid heavy traffic, but toll operators appeal for motorists’ discipline once the system is implemented.

Deputy Majority Leader and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo revealed this on Thursday, saying that toll operators have informed them about plans to avoid a similar scenario during the Holy Week holidays when vehicles were almost at a standstill on both the northbound and southbound expressways in Luzon.

The plan for barrier-less tollways, Tulfo said, was already being coordinated between the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and the management of both the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEx).


“And there were suggestions and they were saying, little did we know that they already had plans yesterday — they were talking with TRB, SLEx, and NLEx to come up with a barrier-less tollway starting around November,” Tulfo told reporters at the House of Representatives complex.


“So there would be no barrier anymore, at the first phase of entry like Balintawak (over the north) and somewhere near Nicholls (on the southern side).  No barrier; motorists would just pass through the exit just like in Singapore and the United States.  So that’s the first phase,” he added.

READ: Expect slow-moving traffic in NLEx, SLEx on Maundy Thursday

Eventually, Tulfo said that the barrier-less system would also cover exit points or the tollgates at a motorist’s point of destination, and then even the Manila-bound exits of both NLEx and SLEx.

Toll fee collections will still be made through their respective Radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems, but this will be done even if there are no barriers at the entry and exit points.

“They will explain how toll fees will still be collected.  That’s no longer the problem of motorists.  Don’t you like that, you just run and move along the exits, at the end of the day you will just have a warning over your phone that you already have a negative balance,” Tulfo said.

“That’s just very good.  I mean, they would shoulder the problem while us motorists would just move through the exits like in US, Singapore, and other Asian countries. But you still have to pay, of course. You have to load,” he added.


READ: RFID use in expressways picking up, says toll collector

The barrier-less system is already being implemented on the NLEx, but only over the Smart Connect Interchange which stretches from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to Karuhatan in Valenzuela City.

Rogelio Singson, president of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation which manages NLEx and other tollways like the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), said, however, that this system would entail a lot of discipline from motorists too.

“So, at the entry, there is no tollbooth. But in the exits, for one year, we will still have the toll booths.  So it’s a learning process.  Again, the discipline is going to be necessary. So, we hope that we can start implementing,” Singson told reporters.

“In fact, on Monday, we will be briefing [Transportation] Secretary Jimmy Bautista and together with TRB to explain, exactly, what’s going to happen, what the barrier-less, or what is referred to as multi-lane free flow,” he added.

Last Sunday, Tulfo announced that Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez is set to summon tollway officials due to the expressway’s heavy traffic flow.  According to the lawmaker, Romualdez wanted toll operators to explain why several vehicles were not able to use their RFID stickers properly.

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Romualdez said a congressional review of the government’s concession agreements with tollway operators is likely should the concern remain unresolved.

TAGS: barrier, NLEX, SLEX, toll way

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