Skyway 3 Opens In Time For Christmas Traffic – Toll-Free for One Month

Automologist Harold advocates a total ban of cash payments at all access points and toll booths, and instead use fast-speed, hypersensitive and defect-free RFID or Plate Number Recognition System. And, imposing heavy fines and penalties on drivers who cause congestion at access points.

The roads of Manila were empty during the lockdown months, but as business gradually resumed operations, so did traffic congestions.

Good news, though, is the early completion of the much-needed and eagerly awaited Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project (Skyway 3), an 18-kilometer elevated expressway connecting the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). If the planners are to be believed, it would just take 20 minutes from Susanna Heights in Muntinlupa in the south to reach Balintawak in the north of Metro Manila, and 15 Minutes from NAIA to Balintawak.

This is good news for motorists who have suffered long enough the monumental traffic mess in Metro Manila. Seamlessly connecting the South and North of Metro Manila, it will also serve as an alternative to EDSA, with its eight access points that connect Makati, Manila, San Juan, and Quezon City. The access points include Buendia, Plaza Dilao, Nagtahan, Aurora Blvd, Quezon Ave., Sgt. Rivera, Balintawak, and NLEX.

Skyway 3 will be officially opened to motorists in December, in time for the Christmas rush, and will be toll-free for a month, as disclosed by conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), the project builder and operator. The company also said it has in fact partially opened for public use, free of charge, the Buendia to Plaza Dilao section of Skyway 3 for over a year now.

“We’re very proud and excited about this project, because it will truly make a big difference to so many people’s lives, especially with our economy slowly opening up and with more vehicles coming back to our roads. We want the Filipino people to benefit from the convenience and ease of travel that his project promised,” Ramon Ang, SMC President, said. “And we, at SMC, funded, built, and completed this Skyway 3 at no cost to the government, no guarantees nor subsidies.”

The realization of this vision did not come easy. The project had been beset with so many challenges that it took six years to complete: from right-of-way issues, to governmental constraints, to major changes to its design and alignment intended to greatly improve travel times and traffic conditions in and around Metro Manila.

But before this project is spoiled by irrational congestion that happens in entrances and exits at its access points, SMC should consider totally removing cash payments and toll booths and instead use a fast-speed, hypersensitive, and defect-free RFID, similar to that being used in Japan or, better yet, license plate recognition system similar to the system in Singapore. And ensure that those people who don’t monitor their RFID balances and, as a result, cause congestion are penalized or heavily fined.

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