SMC: Only Class 1 vehicles with RFID may use Skyway 3

Aerial view of the Skyway 3, as it seamlessly blends into the North Luzon Expressway in north Metro Manila, is seen in these photos provided by San Miguel Corp.

The 18-kilometer elevated Skyway Stage 3 will be dedicated to Class 1 vehicles with Autosweep RFID stickers starting July 12 as part of its safety measures, according to the chief of San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

Ramon S. Ang, the company’s president, said limiting the use of the thoroughfare to Class 1 vehicles and the use of digital payments are “twin moves” that “would address safety concerns on the elevated expressway.”

“We continue to look for ways to improve safety and user experience on our expressways, especially the new Skyway 3. We have implemented a number of measures to ensure safety, prevent over-speeding, and facilitate the more efficient flow of vehicles while still providing motorists significantly reduced travel times,” he said.

Ang added that limiting Skyway 3 to regular vehicles will further ensure safety for all users.

“With more private vehicles diverted to Skyway 3, our public roads will be freed up and decongested. This will benefit, number one, our public transportation and commuters. It will also be beneficial to transporters of goods, who can opt to use the at-grade sections of the Skyway system where tolls are lower, as well as public roads which are free, as they are subsidized by government.”

Meanwhile, the use of RFID aims to minimize the risk of Covid-19 infection among the motorists and toll personnel, and ensures faster, better, and convenient travel on the elevated expressway.

Currently, SMC estimates that around 80 percent of its motorists are RFID users since December 2020. This has also significantly improved traffic on all its tollways.

The operator of the elevated expressway will start collecting toll fee from motorists starting July 12. It said on Tuesday it is reducing its proposed toll rates for the expressway.

“There are still changes on a per distance basis, but end-to-end, it is definitely P264 VAT inclusive,” a company official said.

SMC has incurred roughly P3 billion in foregone revenues since the Skyway 3 was opened in December. It has been allowing motorists to use the elevated thoroughfare for free for almost seven months.

The food-to-infrastructure conglomerate spent over P80 billion to complete the project within two administrations, a significant amount of time considering its length. The delays were caused by right-of-way issues, realignments, and redesigns.

Skyway 3 has a design capacity of 200,000 vehicles per day. According to the Department of Public Works and Highways it diverts at least 75,000 vehicles per day from Edsa and C5.

Image credits: Contributed Photo


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