About a month ago, parts of SLEX northbound were shut down due to the Skyway Extension Project. It was the outermost lane after Alabang Viaduct that was closed to traffic. On the first day of its closure, it caused what could only be described as 'carmageddon' that caused a 20 kilometer traffic jam for those coming from Santa Rosa heading north.
Since then, the traffic situation has improved somewhat, but the Department of Transport (DOTr) - the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) in particular - wants to take action about the inconvenience caused by the closure. The agency is looking to impose fines on the operator of South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) and Skyway, which is SMC Tollways. That's for their 'failure to mitigate the daily traffic jam on the northbound portion of the expressway'.
For now, the DOTr and TRB have yet to mention how or how much they will fine the operators of the said expressway, but have proposed to lower the toll prices on SLEX and Skyway. Raymundo Junia, private sector representative to TRB, said that the reduction of toll fees was the idea of Secretary Arthur Tugade himself.
The TRB added that they are waiting for SMC Tollways' reply on the matter. At the same time, the TRB is open for negotiations regarding the lowering of toll fees. However, they did say that if the operator will not hold a discussion with them, it will be the TRB that will impose the action.
As for the re-opening of the outermost lane after Alabang Viaduct, there is still no definite date just yet. Here's to hoping that construction works will be completed before the holiday rush.