Solon calls for improved tollway management

A party-list solon has urged government and private companies supervising the express ways to exert effort in improving the toll system to ensure smooth traffic flow especially during holidays.

Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza  said the country’s primary tollways -- South Luzon Expressway and North Luzon Expressway -- are bound to become oversized parking lots during the holidays.

Atienza pointed out the poor system at the tollgates.

“And with the expected influx of motorists going in and out of Metro Manila before and after All Saints’ Day, Atienza said that people 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,” Atienza said.

Atienza noted that despite the tollgate upgrades that allow motorists to use beep cards and RFID (radio-frequency identification) stickers, the flow of vehicles is being snagged by the slow lifting response of the barriers.

According to Atienza, 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,” Atienza said.

“Kailangan mo pang  umatras-abante para lang mabasa ang 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,” Atienza said.

"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 said.