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450K motorists seen to use NLEx, SCTEx daily during Holy Week rush

450K motorists seen to use NLEx, SCTEx daily during Holy Week rush

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The volume of daily motorists along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) and NLEx Connector is expected to surge to nearly 450,000 because of the Holy Week rush of those returning to their provinces.

This represents a 10 percent increase from the regular daily motorists of 320,000 on NLEx, 80,000 on SCTEx and 17,000 on NLEx Connector, said J. Luigi L. Bautista, NLEx Corp. president and general manager.

NLEx Corp. has been on full alert since March 22, which will remain until April 1, to manage the said anticipated volume of traffic.

NLEx, through the reactivation of its “Safe Trip Mo, Sagot Ko” (SMSK) motorist assistance program, has deployed 1,500 traffic, toll and system personnel to ensure that motorists are given assistance.

Bautista also advised motorists to avoid traveling during peak hours for a more convenient expressway experience.

Easy Trip

“We are encouraging our motorists to plan their trips well and travel during nonpeak times to avoid possible delays caused by the influx of travelers,” he said.

Bautista also appealed to non-Easy Trip radio frequency identification (RFID) users to install and activate the device to avoid long queues at the few remaining cash toll booths.

He said 80 percent of motorists along NLEx, SCTEx and NLEx Connector were now using the RFID but the 20 percent remained stuck in the long lines in cash booths.

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The surge of travelers heading north is anticipated starting at 10 a.m. of March 27 (Holy Wednesday) until 2 p.m. of March 28 (Maundy Thursday). Going back to Metro Manila will experience a high volume of traffic from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. of March 30 (Black Saturday) and from 2 p.m. of March 31 (Easter Sunday) to 8 a.m. of April 1.

The 1,500 NLEx personnel will be deployed in high volume areas in the expressway including the rest and refuel stations.

Incident response teams, tow trucks and fire trucks will also be strategically stationed for prompt deployment. There will also be additional traffic signage to be installed to better guide the motorists, Bautista said.

A free towing service to the nearest exit will also be available for class 1 vehicles from 6 a.m. of March 22 until 6 a.m. of March 25, 6 a.m. of March 27 to 6 a.m. of March 29, and 6 a.m. of March 30 until 6 a.m. of April 1.