NLEX plans barrier-free tollways by Nov

NLEX plans barrier-free tollways by Nov
North Luzon Expressway solar-powered toll. Photo from NLEX.
  • NLEX plans to remove all toll barriers in November to help ease traffic congestion
  • Mandatory use of RFID stickers is under consideration
  • The company seeks full digital toll operations in two years

The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) operator plans to remove toll barriers by November to help ease traffic congestion, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Along with this, the mandatory use of radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers is being considered. RFIDs are used for electronic payment of toll fees.

Romando Artes, acting MMDA chairman, recently met with NLEX management, who presented programs and plans “to speed up vehicular traffic along the expressway.”

Rogelio Singson, president of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp (which operates NLEX), recently said plans were afoot to fully implement the RFID system. This would include the use of a single RFID system in all tollways as well as the gradual removal of all roadside equipment such as toll booths and barriers.

According to Singson – who served as public works and highways secretary during the time of former president Benigno Aquino III — the plans “are part of the company’s goal to fully digitalize toll operations.” This would take a minimum of two years, he added.

Singson also sought the MMDA’s help in making the use of RFID stickers mandatory.

Failure to use the stickers should result in fines for violators, said Singson.

At present, there is no law punishing motorists who do not have RFID stickers. This, despite NLEX traffic enforcers being deputized by the Land Transportation Office to go after violators.

One possible problem with the mandatory use of RFID stickers would be motorists who only occasionally or even rarely travel along NLEX.

READ: Construction of NLEX C5 Link 1st 2 kms to begin by Q2

Full implementation of expressway cashless transactions eyed mid-year