The country’s two major expressway operators are set to implement higher toll rates starting at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, next year, according to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).
The TRB said the toll fee for the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) will increase to P3.03 per kilometer from the existing P0.76.
Corollary to the upward adjustment of the toll fee, the South Luzon Tollway Corp. (SLTC), the operator of SLEX, said it will give variable discounts to the motorists between January and March next year.
This means that SLTC will be charging only P2.68 per kilometer in January, P2.80 in February, and P2.90 in March.
Isaac David, president of SLTC, said the discounts will cost SLTC P75 million from January to March.
The SLTC has been granted authority to hike its toll rate from Alabang in Metro Manila to Calamba City in Laguna.
Last October, the Supreme Court junked the petition of Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay seeking to stop the implementation of an increase in toll rates at SLEX.
The SLTC earlier widened the 1.2-kilometer Alabang viaduct and the 27-kilometer stretch of the SLEX from Alabang to Calamba.
The former 29-kilometer, four-lane expressway, which starts at the approach to the Alabang viaduct in Muntinlupa City and ends at Barangay Turbina in Calamba, has been widened to eight lanes from the viaduct to Santa Rosa City, and to six lanes from Santa Rosa to Barangay Turbina.
The company also extended the SLEX by another eight kilometers from Barangay Turbina to Santo Tomas, Batangas, thus linking the highway to the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), the main thoroughfare leading to the international seaport of Batangas.
Meanwhile, the Manila North Tollway Corp. (MNTC), the operator of North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), will also implement a higher toll fee by Jan. 1, 2011.
The NLEX toll rate will increase to P2.38 per kilometer for Class 1 vehicles, P5.95 per km for Class 2 vehicles, and P7.14 for Class 3 vehicles.
The new rate on the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Exrpressway (SCTEx) will be P2.67 per kilometer.
Rodrigo E. Franco, MNTC president and chief executive officer, said the toll adjustment falls within the parameters of MNTC’s supplemental toll operation agreement (STOA) forged between the corporation and the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).
The contract was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court (SC) in a recent decision.
“The level of our toll rates remains very reasonable,” Franco said.
The corporation’s average traffic volume as measured by vehicle entries stood at 154,395 in 2009, up by 6 percent compared to the 151,846 of 2008. (PNA)