Here’s a reprieve: San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has delivered on its promise to come up with a solution as it has now opened new northbound lanes to help alleviate the constant standstill traffic along the southern tollway. In case you missed it, the company recently opened the two-lane steel ramp for northbound traffic—last time we checked, only one lane of the ramp has been opened, and only motorists with Autosweep RFIDs have access.
The third lane that was initially closed off has also finally been reopened to loosen up the bottleneck around the Alabang viaduct area. In total, there will now be a maximum of five lanes for Manila-bound traffic.
Sounds good, don’t you think? Well, we decided to check on the situation this morning, the first Monday of December, to see if there were any improvements. According to SLEX operator Manila Toll Expressway Systems (MaTES), the northbound traffic at 5:46am was heavy, but the tail end only reached the Susana Heights interchange. Those who traverse this expressway daily know that the situation at the exact same time a week ago would have been far worse.
The congestion died down over the next couple of hours, and just before 11am, northbound traffic was reportedly light. Again, folks from down south know this is unusual for this time of the day, let alone on a Monday.
Likewise, motorists and commuters had positive sentiments regarding this morning’s SLEX situation. This tweet from a random netizen sums it all up. To her delight, the trip from Calamba to Alabang took only 30 minutes.
This lady, on the other hand, is just as surprised as anyone.
This girl couldn’t believe it either. No dear, you’re not dreaming.
It seems like things are looking up for residents from the south. But do take note that several schools and universities in Metro Manila and Region IV have suspended classes this week in light of the imminent storm as well as the Southeast Asian Games, so we still can’t say for now if today’s light traffic (relatively) will be the new normal. That being said, we’ll give you guys more updates in the coming weeks, so watch this space.