NLEX Corp. said it is ready for the Christmas and New Year holidays as it expects a 10 percent surge in vehicle traffic volume at North Luzon Expressway and Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway.
With the peak travel season expected to start by the third week of December 2018, NLEX-SCTEX traffic personnel will render extended working hours beginning Dec. 14 for intensified operations.
The company said they will be prepared to assist motorists and closely monitor traffic conditions in Balintawak, Mindanao Avenue, Bocaue, Luisita, Tarlac, and Tipo toll plazas as well as at the SCTEX Mabalacat ramps and NLEX-SCTEX fuel stations.
During the peak hours of Dec.14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29, the Balintawak Toll Plaza will open a maximum of 28 toll collection points while Mindanao Avenue and Tarlac toll plazas will have a maximum of 10 and 28 toll collection points, respectively to better accommodate motorists going to the provinces in the north.
The Bocaue Toll Plaza will open 44 toll collection points during the same period.
Portabooths and portable toll collection handheld units will be used to lessen motorist waiting time at the toll plazas.
On Dec. 25, 26, and 27, the Bocaue Toll Plaza will open about 50 to 60 toll collection points to serve motorists bound for Metro Manila. The setup will be the same on Jan. 1 and 2, 2019.
The entry lanes of Tarlac Toll Plaza will also be increased to 5 instead of the usual 3 to facilitate faster transactions during traffic surges. Toll tellers at the said plaza will also be ready to issue pre-encoded transit tickets to southbound motorists.
The additional toll lanes at Angeles (2), Mexico (1), San Fernando southbound entry (1) and San Fernando southbound exit (2) will also be operational in time for the holidays.
Free towing services to the nearest exit will be available for Class 1 vehicles from 6:00 a.m. of Dec. 22 to 11:59 p.m. of Dec. 23 and from 6:00 a.m. of Jan. 1 to 11:59 p.m. of Jan. 2.
The tollway company will also set up counterflow lanes in strategic areas to ensure smooth traffic flow in case of untoward incidents.
Meanwhile, the Manila International Airport Authority advised passengers to be at the airports at least three hours before their scheduled flight due to the sudden surge of departing and arriving passengers this holiday season.
The MIAA reported an increase of 10 percent of passenger volume this December at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals 1,2 and 3.
Additional X-ray machines to screen luggage or extra flights were set up due the expected surge in the number of travelers this week.
The Bureau of Immigration said it has already deployed extra immigration officers to help ease the lines of travelers.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines estimated a 10-percent increase in the number of air passengers during the Christmas season. Last year, it recorded more than 18.3 million passenger movements in all the 35 airports it operates.
Meanwhile, both the Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines (PAL) reminded all passengers to be at the airport at least two to three hours before their departure flight schedule to allow ample time for check-in, go through security and immigration checks, and process pre-departure procedure.
A large volume of passengers is expected from Dec. 17 to Jan. 15, 2019.
Passengers were also encouraged to check flight details and terminal assignments before leaving for the airport.