MANILA - The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) announced Friday that it approved the provisional toll rates for the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project, an elevated highway which connects the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and seeks to cut travel time between both thoroughfares to just 20 minutes.
Based on the rates, approved by the board on Thursday, March 25, Class 1 vehicles will have to pay P105 if they traverse from Buendia to Sta. Mesa. Class 1 vehicles who will travel from Sta. Mesa to Ramon Magsaysay will have to pay P30.
Those who will traverse from Ramon Magsaysay to NLEX Balintawak will have to pay P129, while motorists who will travel from Buendia to NLEX Balintawak will have to pay P264.
Class 2 vehicles will have to pay twice the amount paid by Class 1 vehicles for these tollways, while Class 3 vehicles will have to pay thrice.
The matrix will be published once a week for three consecutive weeks. The petitioner will also have to post a bond.
However, the regulatory board clarified that the approval does not mean that that San Miguel Corporation, which owns and operates the tollway "may immediately be given the authority to start collecting toll fees," citing measures and requirements required before they can collect the toll fees.
The TRB said they are currently evaluating an assessment saying the facility is 97 percent complete. According to the Supplemental Toll Operation Agreement (STOA), tollway projects should be at least 95 percent complete before they can start collecting fees.
It should also conform with approved engineering designs, be "capable of being operated safely and commercially," and have toll collection equipment installed.
Late last year, the government required all tollways to carry cashless, radio frequency ID (RFID) payments to promote contactless payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to TRB, the Skyway 3's toll collection equipment are being installed, and equipment already installed will be tested come Monday, "to ensure that there are no system glitches or flaws to avoid a repeat of the RFID problems we had in the past."
Skyway 3 may start collecting fees after complying with the requirements, it added.
Using the 18-kilometer elevated highway has been free since it was partially opened to motorists in January 14 this year.
SMC President Ramon Ang earlier said the TRB kept "delaying the start of toll collection," citing that construction will be completed faster if they are already given the capacity to collect fees.
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