Skyway O&M, which operates the Skyway system, said that it has implemented new measures to avoid congestion on Skyway Stage 3’s access and exit points following the first day of toll collection on the 18-kilometer elevated expressway.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the operator of Skyway said that it expects a more seamless movement along the Skyway Stage 3 as the measures it implemented “resulted in faster throughput of vehicles even at high-volume toll plazas just a day later.”
“It’s unfortunate that many motorists were caught in traffic last Monday,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said. “We apologize for the inconvenience. While this was not totally unexpected on the first day of toll collection, for our part, we know we have to do better. Hopefully, with the measures we put in place, traffic conditions will continue to improve and normalize.”
The company said that among the measures that it implemented along the expressway includes:
- Deployment of more personnel for traffic management, toll collection, and Autosweep RFID sticker installation
- Opening of more lanes for Autosweep RFID installation and reloading.
- Installation of more signs to guide motorists who are unfamiliar with the expressway, its toll plazas and the start of toll collection
- Motorists with no RFID stickers, who insist on paying in cash, or have insufficient balance are asked to exit the toll booth and park on the side so as not to inconvenience existing ETC users. They are given the option to have RFID tags installed or reloaded, or pay in cash.
- Vehicles with no RFID or have insufficient balance are directed to Del Monte Toll Plaza B coming from Balintawak where they can have their RFID tags installed or reloaded.
“Our Skyway teams are always on the ground, and we monitor our expressways via cameras 24/7. If there’s any issue, we can respond and make corrective measures very quickly,” he added.
Ang said that traffic throughput at toll plazas slowed down on Monday primarily due to vehicles with insufficient load, as well as those availing of free RFID sticker installation and re-loading on-site.
Meanwhile, Skyway O&M reported that traffic throughput at toll plazas was significantly better on Tuesday, the second day of toll collection on the elevated expressway.
“For instance, traffic queues at the Buendia southbound exit, which only has two lanes, and where there was significant buildup Monday, was considerably shorter at only up to 200 meters. This was observed only during rush hour, starting 8 a.m.,” it said.
“While the vast majority of motorists utilized electronic toll collection, a small percentage, 4%, consisting of cash-paying motorists and users with insufficient load, slowed down transaction times at toll plazas,” it added.
Toll collection along Skyway Stage 3 started on July 12.
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In a report by The STAR, Skyway Operations and Maintenance Corp. president and CEO Manuel Bonoan said that the number of vehicles passing through the expressway significantly declined when toll collection started on Monday.
He told The STAR that the number of motorists that passed through the elevated tollway reached a little over 60,000 on Monday, down from the average of 100,000 motorists during seven months of toll-free use.
However, Bonoan believes that the number of vehicles before toll collection along Skyway 3 would eventually return.
“It takes time, but it will return. I’m sure that our traffic will go back to that level of 100,000 until such time that the other routes become congested,” he said.
“I’m sure they will go back because travel is much faster when you use the Stage 3,” Bonoan said.