San Miguel Corporation announced that starting July 12, 2021, the 18-km elevated Skyway Stage 3 will be a no-truck zone and will be dedicated to Class 1 vehicles with Autosweep RFID stickers.
Through its Skyway O&M Corporation – operator of the Skyway system – SMC president Ramon S. Ang said the twin moves would address safety concerns on the elevated expressway, and at the same time further limit the risk of a spread of variants of the COVID-19 virus–especially since the vast majority of its motorists have migrated to the Autosweep RFID electronic toll collection system.
The announcement comes after Skyway 3 was issued a Toll Operating Permit and a Notice to Start Collecting Toll by the Toll Regulatory Board, after operating for free to the public for almost seven months.
SMC pegged its total foregone revenues on Skyway 3 since it opened to the public for free late December 2020 at close to P3 billion.
“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,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.
“Limiting Skyway 3 to regular or Class 1 vehicles will also 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,” Ang added.
Meanwhile, regular motorists who will opt to use public roads instead of Skyway 3, are also seen to benefit from the elevated expressway, as it is capable of diverting and handling up to 200,000 vehicles per day, or half of Edsa’s daily traffic volume.
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% of its motorists are RFID users since December 2020. This has significantly improved traffic on all its tollways.
Mandatory cashless transactions on all expressways was implemented in compliance with the DOTr – TRB Department Order 2020-012, which was issued to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 and to improve traffic queueing at the toll plazas.
Even as majority of regular users have transitioned to cashless electronic toll collection, SMC maintains free RFID sticker installation sites to ensure continuous availability and easy and convenient installation of free RFID stickers.
SMC fully-funded the construction of Skyway 3 to solve the decades-long traffic problems of Metro Manila and build a seamless connection between the South Luzon and the North Luzon Expressways.
It spent an estimated P80 billion to complete the project, more than double the original cost, due to numerous redesigns and realignments that were the result of contentious right-of-way issues.
SMC shouldered all the costs to complete the project, including the reconstruction of three major bridges, to provide a long-term solution to traffic congestion all over Metro Manila.
“We are happy that during the seven-month period that our Skyway 3 was opened to the public for free, it has already significantly reduced travel time and traffic volume along EDSA and other busy roads of Metro Manila,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said.
In particular, travel time between Makati to NLEX now only takes about 20 minutes, while travel between Alabang and NLEX is only 30 minutes, the company noted.
SMC has made it easier for “cash” motorists wanting to use the elevated Skyway system by establishing free RFID sticker installation sites before the Skyway entries and other strategic locations at the Skyway and NAIA Expressway.
Autosweep RFID-to-go stickers can be installed on the spot, with a minimum load requirement of 300 pesos that can be used immediately.
The complete list of Autosweep installation sites in Skyway and NAIAX are:
Skyway Extension NB Ramp – Soldier’s Hills
Dr. A Santos NB
Dona Soledad NB
Runway NB (for Loading only)
G. Araneta NB
Quezon Ave. NB
NAIAX Skyway Entry Plaza (NAIAX ALPHA)
NAIAX Road A NB Entry (NAIAX Foxtrot)
NAIAX Road B NB Entry (NAIAX Golf)
NAIAX Airport Road NB Entry (NAIAX Echo)
NAIAX Main Toll Plaza A NB (NAIAX Delta)
Skyway Main Alpha NB
Del Monte Plaza A SB
Del Monte Plaza B SB
Quezon Ave. SB
Plaza Dilao SB
NAIAX Skyway Exit Plaza (Nancy Bravo)
NAIAX Main Toll Plaza B SB (Nancy Charlie)
Dona Soledad SB
Dr. A Santos SB
For the complete list of Autosweep RFID installation and reloading sites and other inquiries, motorists may visit www.autosweeprfid.com or call SMC Tollways Hotline at (02) 5318-8655.
Meanwhile, as of July 2, Skyway ramps that have been opened to the public include: Buendia SB Exit and NB Entry, Quirino NB and SB Exit, Plaza Dilao SB Entry, Nagtahan SB and NB Exit, E. Rodriguez SB Exit, Quezon Ave SB Exit and Entry, Quezon Ave NB Exit and Entry, A. Bonifacio NB Exit, NLEX NB Exit and NLEX SB Entry.