Holy Week rush: Traffic along toll roads to go up 30%

Holy Week rush: Traffic along toll roads to go up 30%
Operators of toll roads going to Northern Luzon provinces expect a surge in vehicle volume next week

MANILA, Philippines – Leaving Metro Manila this Holy Week? Prepare for heavy traffic.

Tollway operator Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) said they expect to see a 30% increase in vehicle volume along the 84-kilometer (km) North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the 90-km Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway (SCTEX) next week. MPTC, a unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), operates the two expressways.

MPTC president Ramoncito Fernandez said on average, 181,000 vehicles pass through NLEX everyday, and 29,000 through SCTEX. A 30% increase translates to an additional 63,000 vehicles.

Rodrigo Franco, president of MPTC unit Manila North Tollways Corporation, said buildup of vehicles leaving Metro Manila is expected to start afternoon of Holy Wednesday, April 16. The surge is expected to last until noontime the next day, Holy Thursday, April 17. Holy Thursday and Good Friday, April 18, are both regular holidays.

By Easter Sunday, April 20, until Monday, April 21, Franco said inbound traffic would increase as motorists coming from the northern provinces head back to Metro Manila.

“[We are deploying] additional personnel to man major toll plazas specifically Balintawak, Bocaue, Mindanao Ave., Dau, and Mabalacat. At the SCTEX, manual lanes would be set up at the Tarlac and Tipo exits for the same purpose,” said Franco during the launch of the “Safe Trip Mo, Sagot Ko” project.

Meanwhile, the 14-kilometer Cavitex of another MPIC unit, Cavite Infrastructure Corporation (CIC), is expected to see the same traffic volume at 101,000 daily next week.

The tollway operators suspended major road work projects and repairs in anticipation of the Holy Week rush.

CIC president and CEO Luigi Bautista said Cavitex is also preparing for the influx of motorists by adding toll tellers and collectors, security personnel, and adding round-the-clock mobile patrols in its jurisdiction. – Rappler.com

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