By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) will hike its toll rates by P0.51 per kilometer effective on Friday (12:01 a.m., June 14, 2019).
Hence, motorists with Class 1 vehicles (ordinary cars) traveling from Mabalacat City (Mabiga Interchange) to Tarlac will pay an additional P20 under the new toll fee matrix.
Motorists using Class 2 vehicles (buses and small commercial trucks) using the same corridor will pay an additional P40 and Class 3 vehicles (large trucks/trailers) will pay an additional P60.
Motorists traveling between Mabalacat and Tipo in Subic will be charged an additional P32, P66, and P98 for Class 1, 2, and 3 vehicles, respectively.
The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) recently approved the SCTEX’s new toll rate adjustments which the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) petitioned eight years ago in 2011.
Although SCTEX toll rates have remained at 2011 levels, its operator has continued to improve the infrastructure along the 94-kilometer tollway. Since 2015, BCDA and NLEX Corporation have invested in various enhancement projects in the high standard expressway to maintain motorist safety and convenience.
One of the most notable improvements was the NLEX-SCTEX integration project in 2016 which unified the toll collection of the two expressways under one electronic toll collection system. This project reduced the cumbersome toll collection stops and made expressway travel hassle-free.
The entire stretch of the SCTEX between Tarlac and Tipo also underwent a massive asphalt pavement upgrade in 2017 which made for smoother and quieter rides. The operators also installed additional toll lanes at the Tipo Toll Plaza and the new Mabiga Interchange.
To improve 24/7 traffic monitoring and provision of roadside services, they built a modern traffic control room (TCR), with CCTV cameras and radio communications in Mabalacat City.
They also installed LED highway lights, emergency call boxes, crash cushions, and reflective delineator plates in key areas of the expressway to enhance motorists’ safety.