NLEx, SCTEx gearing up for All Saints’ Day exodus to provinces
MANILA, Philippines—Major tollways North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) are gearing up for the expected increase in traffic volume this weekend during the exodus to the provinces for the observance of All Saints’ Day in cemeteries.
The tollways’ operators, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. and Tollways Management Corp., told a press conference Wednesday that they expect traffic volume to increase by 10 percent during the rush to the provinces and back to Metro Manila.
Some 155,000 to 158,000 vehicles go through NLEX per day and 22,000 to 24,000 through SCTEx. The SCTEx accommodates only about 50 percent of its full capacity, but there is always a buildup of vehicles at toll plazas, according to Rodrigo Franco, president and chief executive officer of the Manila North Tollways Corp.
An additional 60 to 70 personnel, composed of ambulant tellers, will be deployed along select toll plazas per day to help alleviate the expected heavy traffic. This is on top of the 280 personnel already manning the toll plazas in the expressways.
The additional personnel will be deployed in the Balintawak, Mindanao and Dau Toll Plazas from October 28 to 30 since increased traffic is expected to flow northward to the provinces before All Saints’ Day.
They will later be deployed in the Bocaue Toll Plaza on November 1 to 3 in anticipation of people returning to Manila from the provinces.
Aside from ambulant tellers, spare toll booths and additional manual lanes will be used to ensure fast service at toll plazas.
In the SCTEx, heavy traffic is expected at Tarlac Exit, San Miguel Exit and Tipo Exit beginning October 28 as people go to the provinces. Additional lanes and manual toll collection will be set up to accommodate the increased number of vehicles.
From November 1 to 3, heavy traffic is expected at the Mabalacat Interchange of the SCTEx as people return to Manila. Additional personnel and equipment will be deployed to ensure efficient service at the Mabalacat Toll Plaza.
Roadwork has been suspended on NLEx and SCTEx from October 28 to November 2 to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.
A Motorists Assistance Program will be available in all toll service facilities at gas stations throughout the highway. These provide basic first aid stations, 24-hour provision of necessities such as food, fuel and restrooms, as well as provide general assistance to motorists.
The NLEx also uses a new Automatic Vehicle Locator System that uses advanced global positioning system to allow quicker response to any incident that happens anywhere on the highway.
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