NLEX, SLEX turning to monster carparks–Atienza

NLEX tollgate.

Bad tollgates are making the South Luzon Expressway and North Luzon Expressway like Metro Manila’s Epifanio delos Santos Avenue, where traffic flow is heavy and slow, Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza said on Monday.

Atienza warned that the two expressways are bound to become oversized parking lots just like EDSA during the holidays because of the inferior tollgate systems.

Motorists going in and out of Metro Manila before and after All Saints’ Day are again expected to bear the brunt of being trapped in monstrous traffic jams due to the slow transition of vehicles passing through the tollgates caused by barriers not automatically opening because RFID (radio-frequency identification) scanners are failing, he said.

Atienza noted that despite the tollgate upgrades that now allow motorists to use the so-called beep cards and RFID stickers, the flow of vehicles is being snagged by the slow lifting response of their barriers.

“I’ve been to countries like Singapore where there are no barriers at entry and exit points in their expressways which definitely allow faster and smoother flow of traffic. The RFID system should ensure the smooth flow of traffic along our expressways. These expressways are run by big private corporations and we are paying premium rates with the expectation that we will have a more comfortable and hassle-free travel. But as it is now, it looks like our expressways are becoming our new EDSA because we have inferior tollgate systems,” said the congressman.

“Kailangan mo pa umatras at abante para lang mabasa ang iyong RFID at minsan hindi pa rin ito mababasa ng kanilang sistema. Sa halip na mas mabilis ang pagdaan sa toll plaza, lalong bumabagal at nagkaka-gridlock dito. Hindi ba nila nakikita ang problemang ito? Bakit wala silang ginagawa? Dapat ayusin nila ang sistema para sa mas mabilis na pagpasok at labas ng mga motorista. Kelangan mabilis ang mga barriers. Papasok ka pa lang dapat tumataas na lalo na kapag RFID ang gamit mo. This way, people will even be encouraged to use RFID,” according to Atienza.

“Pagkatapos ng Undas, we will have the Christmas holidays and we expect traffic in these expressways to worsen. This early, our toll operators should start upgrading their system,” he stressed.

p: wjg