It's not just motorists that got fed up with the horrendous traffic situation along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) following its shift to a full-cashless system. Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian called out NLEX Corporation on Facebook and even served them a formal complaint regarding the “atrocious traffic situation” both on NLEX and in the city.
According to the formal complaint filed by the Mayor, the heavier than usual traffic situation along NLEX caused by faulty RFID sensors has forced motorists to take alternate routes, including passing through Valenzuela City's main roads. Together with the recent holiday rush, lifting of the truck ban, and number coding, this resulted in gridlocks around the city. In the letter addressed to NLEX Corp. chief operating officer Raul Ignacio, he threatened to suspend the toll operator's business permit if no action plan or solution is presented within 72 hours.
NLEX Corporation has since responded to the complaint, but it failed to satisfy Mayor Gatchalian's demands. According to the Mayor, the toll operator's response failed to give concrete action plans and solutions as requested in his original letter. He also argued that the NLEX Corporation has been using an RFID system for years now, more than enough time to comply full-cashless system deadline of December 1.
“Matagal na po yan RFID niyo na sira, noon lang minority ng lanes niyo ang RFID kaya hindi lahat napapansin. Pero ngayon na mandatory na sa lahat gamitin lumalabas ang mga problema na matagal na dapat nasugpo kung binigyan niyo lang ng sapat na attention,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
[Your RFID has been broken for a long time. Before, only a few lanes used RFID which is why it wasn't noticed. Now that it's mandatory for all lanes, the problems which should have been addressed previously are coming out.]
According to Mayor Gatchalian, once a company's business permit is suspended, they cannot do business or earn. If NLEX Corporation's permit is canceled, they cannot collect toll fees from motorists passing along the expressway.
At the moment, NLEX Corporation has yet to send a follow-up letter to address the situation. However, the Valenzuela City Mayor suggested that the toll operator can issue a public apology and make the expressway toll-free while fixing its RFID system.