MANILA, Philippines — The toll-road arm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is preparing contingency measures ahead of the expected surge in vehicle traffic in Metro Manila during the Holy Week.
The company operates the 90-kilometer North Luzon Expressway and, on a temporary basis, the 94-kilometer Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway, where vehicular traffic could swell by as much as 30 percent, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. president Ramoncito Fernandez told reporters on Monday.
The group also operated the 14-kilometer Manila-Cavite Expressway, serving southern Metro Manila, although traffic here may remain flat or even decline during the Holy Week, he said.
NLEX serves an average of 170,000 vehicles per day while SCTEX services about 24,000. Traffic was expected to start building up by April 16 ( Holy Wednesday), when Metro Manila residents leave the capital to spend the holidays in their hometowns. Cavitex serves a little over 100,000 vehicles per day.
“Practically the same number of vehicles is expected to pass through NLEX, SLEX and the Cavitex for their return journey starting the afternoon of Black Saturday (April 19) until the late evening of Easter Sunday,” Metro Pacific said.
The Metro Pacific group would thus increase the deployment of personnel at major toll plazas, specifically Balintawak, Bocaue, Mindanao Avenue, Dau and Mabalacat for NLEX. At SCTEX, manual lanes would be set up at the Tarlac and Tipo exits.
Cavitex management was likewise beefing up its personnel to complement existing crew of traffic patrol officers, patrol officers, toll tellers and collectors and security guards.
Additional lanes will also be made available to speed up the passage of vehicles at toll gates during peak hours. Road maintenance activities would be deferred during this time, to avoid worsening traffic conditions, and would resume on April 22, Metro Pacific said. The aforementioned measures are part of its so-called Safe Trip Mo Sagot Ko program.
“The move has become a traditional exercise for the three expressways to ease traffic flow and make it more convenient for motorists as they turn up in droves for the traditional observance of the Holy Week in the provinces,” Metro Pacific said.
In addition, Metro Pacific said motorists would also be given free wifi and phone calls at selected toll service facilities.
Metro Pacific Investments, a unit of Manuel V. Pangilinan-led First Pacific Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong, is a major operator of tollroad in the country along with rival San Miguel Corp. and Indonesia’s Citra Group.
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