Metro Manila traffic

NLEX reopens cash lanes, relocates sticker application during transition to full RFID

JC Gotinga

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This file photo shows a portion of the North Luzon Expressway

rappler file photo

'For the smaller toll plazas, where there are limited lanes, we will have an exclusive RFID lane beside a combined cash/RFID lane,' says NLEX Corporation chief J. Luigi Bautista

The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corporation said on Saturday, December 12, that it would reopen cash lanes and relocate the installation of RFID stickers away from toll plazas during its transition to a fully cashless, contactless system.

The move would ease pressure on the NLEX Corporation whose business was ordered ceased by the Valenzuela City government last Monday, December 7, over traffic gridlocks caused by hiccups in its transition to the cashless RFID system.

“We will be opening cash lanes in all toll plazas during this transition towards 100% cashless transactions. For the smaller plazas, where there are limited lanes, we will have an exclusive RFID lane beside a combined cash/RFID lane,” said NLEX Corporation president and general manager J. Luigi Bautista.

“Sticker installation and reloading of RFIDs will also be relocated to other locations in order not to compete with the limited road space. They will be moved to other strategic areas in and out of the expressway,” Bautista added.

Bautista and other NLEX Corporation officers earlier held separate meetings with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority general manager Jojo Garcia, Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan, and Guiguinto City Mayor Boy Cruz, also president of the Liga ng mga Alkalde ng Pilipinas – Bulacan Chapter – to address problems in the transition to a cashless system.

In August, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) ordered a full transition to cashless toll collection in the country’s expressways by November. The time proved too short, and the deadline was deferred to December. It has since been pushed back again to January 11, 2021.

Since the DOTr issued the order, motorists have had to queue up for hours at expressway toll plazas to obtain RFID stickers, causing interminable traffic jams.

InfraWatch Philippines convenor Terry Ridon called the sudden switch to cashless toll collection a “knee-jerk program.” –

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.