Today marks the first day the Skyway Stage 3 will begin collecting toll fees after over 6-months of free use. Considering the price San Miguel Corporation (SMC) charges motorists for use (PHP 264 end-to-end), it seems many have not to use the Skyway 3 while there are many that will still opt to use it daily.
Today is an indicator of that; if you passed by South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) or EDSA today, the traffic is much heavier than before.
Many motorists took to social media and posted photos of their experiences in traffic today along roads like SLEX, EDSA, and C-5. While the traffic on major thoroughfares was expected, what's interesting is even motorists that paid to use Skyway Stage 3 today also experienced heavy traffic along the elevated toll road.
Speaking with AutoIndustriya, Nelly Argota of SMC Infrastructure Tollways cited that there are four reasons for the heavy traffic on Skyway 3 today.
The first and perhaps the most significant is that many motorists still do not have an AutoSweep RFID on their vehicle to facilitate a quicker drive past the toll plazas of SMC's tollways. SMC is accepting cash at toll plazas, but this method is inefficient given the volume of vehicles.
The second is that some motorists thought that EasyTrip can be used on Skyway 3. Any San Miguel-operated toll expressway uses AutoSweep and not EasyTrip. The integration is still being worked on.
The third is that some motorists did not know that Skyway 3 starts charging toll today. Hopefully, these motorists had enough cash on hand.
The fourth is the lack of RFID load on their AutoSweep accounts. According to Argota, the company is sending SMS messages to RFID subscribers to remind them to reload their accounts to avoid delays at the toll plazas.
How was your morning commute? Did you experience heavy traffic getting to and from work or, was it just like before? Let us know in the comments below.