Higher fares seen after lifting of TRO on SLEx toll hike

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 22 2010 05:13 PM | Updated as of Oct 23 2010 07:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Motorists plying the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) should brace for higher fares after the Supreme Court lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the planned 250% hike in toll rates.

Looming toll hike at SLEx
Class Alabang to Calamba (end-to-end)
Current toll rate New rates (at 250% hike)

1 (car and jeepneys)

Php 22 Php 77
2 (bus and trucks)        43            150.5
3 (trailers and large trucks)        65             227.5

The Southern Luzon Bus Operators said they will have no choice but to pass additional toll costs to consumers by filing a petition for a fare hike before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

They said they would ask for a 30 centavo per kilometer increase in 2 to 3 days after the toll hike is implemented.

A 50-km bus ride from Calamba, Laguna to Lawton in Manila, currently P65, will become P80 once the increase is implemented.

Militant transport group PISTON, meanwhile, is preparing for a series of protest rallies against the SLEx toll hike.

The group warned this would not only affect fares, but also prices of goods being transported from the south.

The SC on Thursday dismissed petitions questioning the legality of the proposed SLEx toll hike, which was supposed to have been implemented as early as June 30.

But the high court said the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) must determine whether the South Luzon Tollways Corp. and the Manila Toll Expressway Systems Inc., as toll contractor and operator, are entitled to toll fees.

Despite the lifting of the TRO, SLTC cannot implement the toll increase yet.

The TRB said the court decision will have to be reviewed by Wednesday next week. Until then, SLEx toll rates will remain at current levels. - Reports from Zen Hernandez and Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News