According to Metro Pacific Tollways Corp (MPTC) Chief Communications Officer Romulo Quimbo, cash lanes will be reopened at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). This was revealed during an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.
The said decision was reached amid the added congestion and the many issues surrounding the RFID only payment scheme that was supposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, and to hasten the collection of toll fees. Moreover, this statement came after the manifesto issued by the League of Municipalities of Bulacan. The said manifesto expressed the need to keep the cash lanes open in order to reduce the traffic on NLEX.
Cash lanes will make a return and will function alongside RFID lanes
Apart from the aforementioned manifesto, Quimbo also said that it was found that this was the desire of the Office of the President and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) all along. As such, the option of having RFID lanes together with cash lanes will be implemented once again.
If you remember, NLEX Corp’s business permit was also suspended in Valenzuela City due to the heavy traffic caused by the allegedly haphazard implementation of the RFID only scheme. To address this, the said corporation submitted a plan of action to the Valenzuela City Government to address the numerous issues and system bugs surrounding the implementation of the RFID cashless payment scheme.
Regarding where the cash lanes will be opened, Quimbo said that it will be implemented on large toll plazas like the Balintawak toll plaza. Apart from NLEX, MPTC also holds concessions over the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), NLEX Connector, Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAEX), and the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX). As such, there’s a possibility that cash lanes will open again at toll plazas located along these aforementioned expressways. As of this writing, we’ll have to wait for further updates from MPTC with regards to the reopening of cash lanes.
The very busy Balintawak toll plaza
In the said interview, the issue of toll collection despite the toll holiday at Valenzuela City was also brought up. Regarding this, Quimbo said that the company is already working on reimbursing those affected.
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Cesar G.B. Miguel