NLEX cash lanes reopened due to RFID issues

Cash lanes in the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) have been reopened within the transition period to the contactless RFID collection system, Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) spokesperson Julius Corpuz said on Monday.

Corpuz was asked in a radio interview on Dobol B sa News TV whether cash payment is accepted on NLEX like on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

“Applicable po ‘yan sa lahat ng ating expressways,” he said. “At ‘yan ay ipinapatalaga ng ating kalihim ng transportasyon kung kinakailangan at para maibsan ang traffic ay may magagamit na cash lane lalo na during the transition period.”

Today, cash lanes were reopened on NLEX. This happens two weeks after the implementation of 100% cashless transactions in expressways with the use of a radio frequency identification (RFID) system.

“May mga lugar naman kasi na hindi naman kinailangan kaya hindi na masyadong ipinagamit noon,” Corpuz said. “Pero ngayon, pinapa-ano po namin na merong available parati (na cash lanes), na puwedeng gamitin kung kinakailangan para maibsan po ang traffic.”

SMC Tollways also issued an advisory on Twitter on Monday that cash lanes will be in place on SLEX, Skyway, NAIA Expressway (NAIAX), Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), and Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

In the two weeks of implementing cashless transactions, some RFID stickers were unreadable to some NLEX sensors. This resulted in many drivers to switch on reverse and move to other lanes, which led to traffic problems at tollways.

Moreover, long lines of vehicles trying to get RFID installed were seen on the expressway. Due to this, the Valenzuela City local government suspended the business permit of NLEX Corporation, where motorists can pass through toll gates without paying a fee.

Although representatives of the Valenzuela City government and NLEX Corp. are set to meet today, Mayor Rex Gatchalian said that this would not automatically result in the lifting of the suspension of the company’s business permit.

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