What could be more aggravating than a slow traffic on a busy day? Especially when you’re coming from the busy roads of Metro Manila? Travel convenience and accessibility are essential these days. According to a study, Metro Manila is said to be the third worst city in Asia in terms of traffic. It’s no secret that during rush hour, major roads in Metro Manila can quickly turn into parking lots. Of course, everybody wants hassle-free infrastructure, such as smooth and safe roads. This is why the government is spending more on infrastructure projects such as new roads, bridges, and railways, among others. Fortunately, new roads and expressways are being built to help relieve congestion on the Metro’s main highways. The recent opening of Skyway Stage 3 and its ongoing improvement came as a blessing to all. As it aims to significantly reduce travel times within and out of the Metro.
The Philippine Skyways
Skyway also known as known as the Metro Manila Skyway System (MMSS) is an elevated main expressway in Metro Manila. The Skyway connects the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). With a total length of 42.79 kilometers, it is the Philippines’ first fully grade-separated highway. Thus, one of the world’s longest elevated highways. The expressway runs above major highways in Metro Manila as well as the San Juan River. It runs above several major roads in Metro Manila, with entry and exit ramps strategically placed. Alleviating traffic congestion on other major thoroughfares. Class 1 vehicles, such as cars, vans, motorcycles larger than 400 cc, pick-up trucks, and SUVs, can use the Skyway. However, PUVs (public utility vehicles) are prohibited. Indeed, the Skyway helped a lot to decrease slow traffic in the Philippines. The concessionaire for the expressway ranges by 3 stages such as:
This is the first stage of the elevated highway, which covers a section of SLEX from Magallanes to Alabang. Construction began in April 1995, and the thoroughfare was partially open to motorists in October 1999. Later on, the roadway added more exits. Extending all the way to Makati and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) interchange.
Following the completion of Stage 1, they developed plans to extend the elevated highway through the Sucat-Bicutan area. Stage 2 construction began in 2019, and by 2010, 52 percent of the roadway had been completed. The road was finished and opened to the public by December of that year. In 2011, they extended the roadway even further south to reach the most southern business districts. Tolls were reduced to its 2007 rates. Motorists could use this portion free of charge for one week. Stage 2 also further expanded in 2020. Reaching the Susana Heights area, alleviating traffic congestion in the Alabang area of SLEX.
Skyway Stage 3 was another road extension project that aimed to reduce travel time between the north and south. As well as to create a more direct route for motorists traveling from NLEX to SLEX. With the new section of road opening to the public in 2020, it has helped reduce traffic on other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila. Motorists now have an alternate route to take when traveling north to south.
Driving Guidelines from Buendia Makati to NLEX Balintawak
We had a drive-through from Buendia Makati to NLEX-Balintawak. Here are the routes and guidelines we covered in Skyway Stage 3:
- Wear seatbelts all the time
- We entered through Buendia Toll Plaza first. All major expressways in Luzon will soon become fully cashless. All vehicles that’ll proceed through expressways need to have Radio Frequency Identicafication (RFID) for faster transactions. You can buy this on RFID Installation lanes in expressways or Order on online shopping sites and convenience stores such as 7/11.
- Passed through Osmena Highway and passed Quirino Exit but didn’t go through there
- The expressway is monitored with CCTV and Speed Radar so make sure you keep your speed limit to 60 kph
- Passed through Pandacan, Manilaand passed Nagtahan and Qurino Ave Exit but didn’t go through there
- Vehicles with no RFID should stay on left lane, ETC on right
- Passed through SGT Rivera, Quezon City and A Bonifacio Exit but didn’t go through there
- Leave through Balintawak Exit with Php 264 Toll Fee (Class 1 Vehicle Buendia-Balintawak)
Take note of the Skyway 3 opened ramps listed below:
- Quezon Avenue
- A. Bonifacio – Sgt. Rivera
- A. Bonifacio – Sgt. Rivera
- Quezon Avenue
- E. Rodriguez
- Plaza Dilao
RFID Rates and Registration:
Furhermore, here are Autosweep RFID fees and Initial load requirement needed
- Per Tag
- Per Card
Initial Load Requirement in Php
How do you register or enroll your Autosweep RFID in Easytrip?
The following instructions will help you register your Autosweep RFID to the Easytrip:
- Visit the following designated registration sites with your motor vehicle equipped with an Autosweep RFID:
- Fill out and sign the subscription form given to you by an authorized Easytrip Customer Service Representative;
- Allow the Customer Service Representative to inspect your vehicle’s Autosweep RFID before activating and registering it with Easytrip. Pay for your Easytrip account’s initial reload.
- Within 24 hours, your Easytrip Account will be activated.
- Finally, your Easytrip Card will be sent to you 7 days after you register, along with your account number, which you will use as a reference whenever you need to reload your Easytrip account.