NLEx link cuts travel by 4 hours
MABALACAT, Pampanga—Senate President Franklin Drilon on Friday led the inauguration of the Northern Luzon Expressway-Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway link that would reduce travel to central and northern Luzon by 40 minutes.
The new highway link was opened in time for the Holy Week break, according to Rodrigo Franco, president of the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC).
The MNTC is expecting a 10- to 15-percent increase in the regular volume of 200,000 vehicles using the NLEx and the 30,000 vehicles using the SCTEx each day.
The integration project also features a unified ticketing system, which uses electronic toll collection (Easytrip) and magnetic payment methods of transactions, MNTC said.
Originally, five stages of the toll booths serve 200 vehicles in an hour but the new system will mean booths can serve 800 motorists in an hour, it said.
The highway link project, which cost P650 million to build, was facilitated by the Department of Transportation and Communication, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and the Toll Regulatory Board.
Highway operators have put up free Wi-Fi areas in five gasoline stations on NLEx from March 18 to 28.
Drilon said the old highway system compelled motorists to use the sideways of the expressways as their “comfort rooms” because they were usually stuck in long hours of traffic.
He said he was also stuck in an 11-hour gridlock along NLEx in December 2014, an experience that forced him to propose the integration of the two expressways.
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