The government approved a P10 increase in toll along the North Luzon Expressway effective March 20, or seven years after operator NLEx Corp. first applied for the periodic adjustment.
NLEx was allowed to collect a total of P10 in additional toll in the open system and P0.18 per kilometer in the closed system, respectively.
Included in the adjustments are the new add-on toll of P6 applicable to the open system with the completion of the Harbor Link Segment 10 and the first tranche of the approved periodic adjustments due 2013 and 2015 amounting to an additional P4 in the open system and P0.18 per kilometer in the closed system.
The elevated 5.65-kilometer NLEx Harbor Link Segment 10 traversing Valenzuela, Malabon and Caloocan City recently opened for motorists.
Under the new toll matrix released by the Toll Regulatory Board, Class 1 vehicles (ordinary cars) traversing Quezon City, Caloocan City, Valenzuela City, Malabon, Meycauayan and Marilao sections will pay an additional P10.
Class 2 vehicles (buses and small trucks) on the same corridor will pay an additional P23 and Class 3 vehicles (large trucks/trailers) will pay an additional P29.
The open system, where a flat rate is charged per entry, includes Balintawak, Mindanao Ave., Karuhatan, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Meycauayan and Marilao interchanges and toll plazas. These cover the urban section of the expressway where traffic congestion is more pronounced.
Class 1, 2 and 3 vehicles traveling end to end or between Edsa Balintawak or Mindanao Ave. to Sta. Ines, Mabalacat City will be charged an additional P22, P56 and P67, respectively.
NLEx, however, agreed to charge lower toll by P1 to P2 across the board to cushion the impact of the adjustments.
NLEx Harbor Link Segment 9 and the recently opened Segment 10 are now parts of the open system. The completion of these projects added new routes, exits and entry points to the system, helping decongest several traffic chokepoints like A. Bonifacio, Edsa, C3 Caloocan, Karuhatan, MacArthur Highway and Quezon City.
NLEx Harbor Link Segment 10 provided alternative access to more than 30,000 motorists daily. Travel time between C3, Caloocan and NLEx Karuhatan in Valenzuela was reduced from one hour to 5 minutes. It also provided a new route from Mindanao Ave. to Caloocan City.
The successful construction of NLEx Harbor Link Segment 10 highlights the continuing partnership between the government and NLEx Corp. Its completion was made possible by the task force organized by the Department of Public Works and Highways to speed up the acquisition of the road rights-of-way.
NLEx Corp. has not enjoyed the periodic toll rate increases covered by its concession agreement with the government over the past seven years or since 2012.