MPTC prepared for biggest Holy Week traffic surge
By Emmie V. Abadilla
Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) is prepared for the biggest surge in Holy Week traffic yet, as vacationers and pilgrims take to the roads again after two years of pandemic lockdowns.
With the downgrade of COVID-19 alert levels, MPTC executives expect next week's traffic to rise from 10 percent to 15 percent.
For this reason, the company is again implementing its annual “Safe Trip Mo Sagot Ko” (SMSK) program from Friday, April 8 to Monday, April 18, 2022, a day after Easter Sunday.
All MPTC-built and operated expressways anticipate traffic surges, executives announced in this Tuesday, April 5, press briefing.
Traffic will be heaviest in the company's North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) where volumes are expected to increase from 140,000 vehicles per day to 170,000.
The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), which averages about 50,000 vehicles daily, can hit around 57,500.
The Manila-Cavite (CAVITEX), CAVITEX C5 Link(C5 LINK) can post around 3 per cent increase, from 14,000 vehicles per day while the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) can go up from 28,000 vehicles to over 30,000 daily.
“With the easing of travel restrictions, there’s a lot more outdoor activity from the general public," according to MPTC President and CEO Rodrigo E. Franco.
"As we return to some normalcy as compared to recent years, we have anticipated this increase in volume by fielding additional personnel and offering special roadside services,” he added.
Significantly, the tollway operator's SMSK motorist assistance program, is now on its 13th year.
The program includes increased deployment of patrol crews, traffic marshals, security teams, and toll plaza personnel to ensure safety, and provide immediate assistance to motorists.
As in the past, emergency medical services and incident response teams will also be augmented and will be stationed at strategic areas of the expressways.
Lane closures and mainline road works will also be suspended from April 8 to 18 unless safety repairs are necessary.
Safety and directional signages will be put in place to ensure unimpeded travel.
Updated traffic information will continually be posted on each of the expressways’ social media accounts, while the MPTC Hotline (1-35000) will be fully manned 24/7 to address immediate customer concerns.
This year’s SMSK will also provide free towing to the nearest exit for Class 1 vehicles, from 6:00am of April 13 up to 6:00am of April 18.
MPTC encourages motorists to use Radio Ftequency Identification (RFID) for faster and safer transactions.
Those who have no RFID stickers yet may have them installed for free in any of the Easytrip installation sites and pay the initial load.