• South Tollways operators gear up for holy week exodus

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    D2---SOMCO20160322Skyway O&M Corporation (SOMCO), Manila Toll Expressway System, Inc. (MATES) and Star Tollway Corporation (STC), the operators of Skyway System, South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and Star Tollway, respectively, are ready to handle the influx of motorists going to places south of Metro Manila through the southern toll road network in observance of the Holy Week.

    While SOMCO, MATES and STC expect traffic to peak on Holy Wednesday (March 23) and Maundy Thursday (March 24) and on return trip to Metro Manila by Sunday (March 27) until early Monday (March 28), they will implement a pro-active operational plan on traffic, security, toll collection and motorist assistance as early as Friday (March 18) for motorists who opt to travel during off-peak days to avoid delay and inconvenience and be with families and relatives for a longer period of time. The South toll road operators’ Oplan Ligtas Biyahe Kwaresma 2016 starts on March 23 in cooperation with concerned government and police agencies, like the Department of Public Works an Highways, Toll Regulatory Board, Land Transportation Office, Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, Metro Manila Development Authority and local government units. With other support facilities like Lifeline ambulances, AAP towing trucks and the quick response teams, Oplan Ligtas Biyahe Kwaresma 2016 aims to provide prompt assistance to motorists in distress and deploy additional field personnel in areas where traffic is expected to build up.

    Ligtas Biyahe Assistance Centers in strategic locations of the toll road will provide, among others, drinking and radiator water, towing service to the nearest exits and latrine facilities. To ensure safer and more pleasant trips of their motoring patrons, the South Tollways operators will intensify their patrol operations and motorist assistance effort, cancel days-off of their field personnel, and closely coordinate with the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group and local police to curb possible criminal activities. Additional toll collection personnel, including ambulant tellers will also be deployed to speed toll transactions especially in busy toll plazas.

    In anticipation of the Holy Week traffic and to better serve the increasing number of RFID subscribers, additional ETC (electronic toll collection) lanes have been opened both on the Skyway System and SLEX. Motorists may still get their RFID stickers at the Customer Service Centers in Skyway Bicutan Office and MATES Office in Silangan SLEX northbound, Monday to Saturday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm; at the northbound and southbound toll plazas of Southwoods and Santa Rosa and the Ayala Greenfields, and at Petron San Pedro along SLEX southbound. RFID subscription can also be processed on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm at the Petron Service Stations in Malvar and Star Tollway in Batangas.

    MATES suggests that motorists going to Tagaytay during the Holy Week use the Southwoods, Carmona, Santa Rosa and ETON exits and those coming from Batangas to exit via Tanauan. On their return trip to Manila on Sunday or Monday (March 27 or 28), motorists should anticipate heavy traffic at Santo Tomas, Lipa-Tambo (East/West) and Batangas exit plazas.

    Motorists are also reminded to make sure that their vehicles’ cooling system, brakes and tires are functioning well and that fuel and oil are sufficient. For their own safety and those of others, they must strictly observe all tollway traffic rules and regulations, especially the speed limit rule: 100 kilometers per hour maximum for cars; 80 kph maximum for buses and trucks; and 60 kph minimum for all vehicles. SOMCO and MATES operate a state-of-the-art Command Centers that monitor activities and situations along their areas of responsibility through CCTV cameras and by radio communication enabling them to extend prompt motorist assistance. Motorists may call the hotlines of Skyway at (02) 776-7777 and 0917-539-8762; MATES at 0917-687-7539; and STC 043-756-7870 and 0917-511-7827 anytime to ask for assistance, report stalled vehicles and other road incidents. They may also call the hotline of the South Tollways network at 318-8655 . For traffic update and information, visit Skyway twitter account @SkywaySOMCO and SLEX account @OfficialSLEX.

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