Tuesday, December 24, 2013

NLEX-SCTEX braces for holiday rush

MALOLOS CITY—The Tollways Management Corporation (TMC) is bracing for increase in traffic volume along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) due to holiday rush.

Francisco Dagohoy, media relations specialist of the TMC, a subsidiary of the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) and operator of the NLEX said that in the past four weeks they observed increase of traffic volume by at least five percent.

They estimated that starting Monday, December 23 traffic volume along the NLEX will increase by 20 percent from their daily average.

“Traffic is expected to  build up  in the early afternoon until late in the evening of December 23. On the other hand the heavy volume of vehicles going back to Manila is seen on the afternoon of January 1 and morning of January 2,” Dagohoy said in an official statement issued yesterday.

To address increasing traffic volume, NLEX Toll Operations will beef up its manpower during the said days.

Ambulant tellers will be deployed at the Balintawak, Mindanao Avenue and Dau Toll Plazas to facilitate lane transactions.

Spare lanes will also be used to shorten queue of vehicles during peak periods. The Bocaue Toll Plaza will also have ambulant tellers on January 1 and 2 in anticipation of the heavy volume of vehicles going back to Manila on these dates.

NLEX Traffic Operations will also deploy ten stationary patrol vehicles in selected areas in order to keep the road safe and traffic to flow smoothly.

Motorcycle riders and roving patrol vehicles will be ready to assist in the Interchanges in case of traffic build up.

Dagohoy said traffic is expected to build up at the Bocaue Toll Exit in the last week of December.

To manage this, TMC deployed additional manpower in the area beginning December 16.

At SCTEX, the same level of service can be expected. Traffic build up going to the provinces is expected at Tarlac Exit, San Miguel Exit and Tipo Exit as early as December 20, the weekend before Christmas.

Volume of traffic entering the Mabalacat Toll Plaza will even increase on December 23 as well as December 28 and 29.  The affected toll plazas will be adequately manned to address the influx of motorists.

Manual and counter flow lanes will be placed at San Miguel and Tarlac Exit respectively to accommodate the high volume of traffic while Tipo Toll Plaza will also have standby manual lanes in the event that the volume of motorist will increase. 

Heavy volume of Manila bound motorists is expected on the afternoon of December 25 and January 1 and in the early morning of December 26 and January 2 at the Mabalacat Toll Plaza.

Motorists can expect sufficient number of personnel and equipment to shorten the queue at the plaza and maintain the best level of service possible.

Manual toll booths will be deployed at the said toll plaza to address the high volume of traffic.  SCTEX traffic during the holidays is expected to increase by as much as 25% from the normal daily average.

Dagohoy said motorists can also expect adequate number of patrol crews along the carriageway and at the toll plazas to assist in during vehicle breakdown and conduct traffic management. 

Ambulances and tow trucks will be strategically deployed for faster response during incidents.  Also no major maintenance works will be conducted during the holidays so as not to disrupt the traffic flow. 

Portalets will also be stationed at Mabalacat Toll Plaza (before the entry), Tarlac Toll Plaza (after the exit) and two at the Subic bound (Km 21 and 29) portion of the SCTEX.

Advance toll fee collection for vehicles going to the Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX) will be implemented at the Mabalacat Toll Plaza. Thirteen collection points in the area will be deployed from December 20 to 28.  Dino Balabo