The NLEX Corporation has recently announced that it will be bringing back cash lanes to its expressways. The move to bring back cash lanes to the tollways was due to the traffic and inconvenience caused by the EasyTrip RFID system which struggled to keep up with the sheer number of motorists.
According to the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) Chief of Communication Officer Romulo Quimbo, the tollway operator will be returning the cash lanes on bigger toll plazas such as in Balintawak. This was done in the hopes that it would lessen the traffic congestion in these areas. It is also important to note that the company is also facing pressure from both the MMDA as well as the Office of the President and the Tollway Regulatory Board (TRB) to improve the quality of their service.
While these cash lanes have returned, it is still uncertain if they are here to stay or if they are just a temporary solution until the EasyTrip cashless collection system gets a much-needed upgrade. In the meantime, major NLEX toll plazas will retain their previous hybrid set up of cash and RFID lanes. The NLEX Corporation has not specified what the exact ratio will be for cash and RFID lanes, however, we assume that it will still favor the cashless system. This will still keep the tollway operator in line with the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Department Order (DO) No. 2020-012. As a refresher, the DO mentions that all expressways must implement a cashless toll transaction system in light of the still ongoing pandemic.
The question now remains, whether or not this hybrid system is here to stay or is it a temporary fix until the EasyTrip cashless system gets an upgrade. For now, it’s a waiting game to see if the Department Order will receive revisions or if another extension will be given out for a better transition period into a cashless tolling system.