TRB: Sub-400cc motorcycles allowed to enter NLEX and SLEX, BUT...

More than 2,000 small bikes expected to pass through the tollways on May 19
by Aris Ilagan | May 17, 2019
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

It’s like déjà vu: Large groups of riders on board motorcycles with engine displacements below 400cc will be allowed to use the country’s two biggest tollways—South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)—once again.

But, there’s a but. Guys, hold on to your comments first—and don’t ride off to the said expressways just yet.

According to Mario Montalban, president of the Pasig chapter of the Motorcycle Philippines Federation (MCPF), the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) has given MCPF members a two-way special pass for SLEX and NLEX that will be valid only on Sunday, May 19, 2019.

And as of this writing, the MCPF is still coordinating with the Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) to allow its members to use the facility as well.

The one-day special pass granted by the TRB is in line with the 107th-anniversary celebration of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) on May 21, 2019. This so-called ‘unity ride’ of the MCFP is part of the kick-off ceremonies to be held at the agency’s main office on East Avenue. At least 2,000 small-bike riders are expected to join the event.

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Do note, however, that the TRB has laid out conditions for the small bikes’ access to the tollways:

  • They have to enter SLEX and NLEX in groups.
  • Each group must have a designated leader who will crack the whip on riders misbehaving inside the expressway.
  • The designated leader will lead the group to the toll plaza, count the riders as they pass through the gate, and pay the toll fee in bulk.
  • Riders from Regions 3 and 4 are to join MCPF members at the converging point at Arca South (former FTI complex) in Taguig before proceeding to the LTO main office where they will be welcomed by the agency's chief, assistant secretary Edgar Galvante, for the main celebration.

We were told that the MCPF’s request for tollway access was endorsed by the LTO. In case you’re wondering why the group was granted special access to the tollways, read on.

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This massive motorcycle club has been a partner of the LTO in conducting free road-safety seminars in the different parts of the country for almost 10 years now. The MCPF has been doing this with diligence and without fail.

This event will surely be a nostalgic occasion for the MCPF members who experienced passing through NLEX in big groups a decade ago. In 2009, more than 3,000 riders on small and big bikes coming from different parts of the country were allowed entry to the NLEX on their way to National Motorcycle Convention in Baguio City.

This was facilitated by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and led by former assistant secretary Reynaldo Berroya, a motorcycle enthusiast himself. No less than former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and former Senators Gringo Honasan and Bong Revilla, led the send-off ceremonies for the riders at the People Power Monument.

After this event, we’re pretty sure that the long-drawn-out debate on the tollway ban for motorcycles with small engines will resume. Now, who will dare fire the first shot?

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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