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NLEX to return cash lanes amid RFID system woes

Cash lanes will be reopened alongside RFID lanes at the North Luzon Expressway amid congestion experienced by motorists in the toll road due to the implementation of a 100% cashless payment scheme on expressways.

“Maglalagay na po tayo ng mga cash lane. Ibabalik natin ang cash lane... magtatalaga na tayo ng cash lanes, halimbawa sa Balintawak toll plaza ‘yun pong malalaki maglalagay ulit tayo ng cash lane doon,” Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. chief communications officer Romulo Quimbo said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

“Napag alaman namin kahapon na ito rin ang gusto ng Office of the President at MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. May isang option na sabay na RFID at cash [so] ibabalik natin ang konsepto na ‘yun,” Quimbo said.

MPTC is the concession holder of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX), Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAEX), Cebu Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), and the NLEX Connector.

The tollways operator made the statement on the heels of League of Municipalities of Bulacan’s manifesto urging the government to return the cash lanes and halt the RFID system to reduce heavy traffic along NLEX. 

NLEX Corp. earlier said it submit a concrete plan of action to the city government of Valenzuela to resolve issues on the implementation of RFID cashless payment scheme.

NLEX Corp.'s business permit was suspended by the Valenzuela government on Monday due to the unresolved issues on the RFID cashless payment mess.

Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian said the duration of the suspension of the business permit would depend on how soon NLEX will act on the complaints against them.

Quimbo said NLEX will transfer the existing RFID sticker installation and account reloading in the Karuhatan and Mindanao toll plazas effective immediately in order to improve traffic flow in the nearby areas.

On the issue of charged toll fees who passed through NLEX’s Valenzuela segment despite a toll holiday, Quimbo said the company has already reimbursed the amount charged to affected motorists.

“Nakaligtaan ang lane number 4, nakaligtaan ma-deactivate. Tinaas ang barrier doon pero nade-detect pa rin po ng scanner... nakita po namin na inadvertently po ‘yun so ire-reimburse po naibalik na po. Kung ano lang ang kinaltas ni-reverse lang,” he said. — RSJ, GMA News