SMC’s Seamless Southern Tollways project seeks to reduce stops for motorists

by Leandre Grecia | Dec 2, 2022
PHOTO: Sharleen Banzon

After waiving the toll fees of thousands upon thousands of motorists after that massive Autosweep RFID fiasco, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is looking to improve its services even further before the holidays begin.

SMC Tollways has announced the start of its ‘Seamless Southern Tollways’ program covering the STAR Tollway, South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and Skyway. Through this program, motorists will make fewer stops when traveling from one end of the road network to another.

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traffic on SLEX toll plaza

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Under the new scheme, southbound motorists from Skyway heading to, say, Batangas will only make two stops instead of five. All toll plazas midway will be pass-through lanes for said motorists, meaning they’ll only need to stop at their entry and exit points, bypassing the Calamba, SLEX Greenfield, and Sto. Tomas toll plazas.

Northbound motorists plying the same route in the opposite direction will also make fewer stops. The traffic scheme is already effective for southbound motorists effective December 1, while those going northbound will only see changes starting December 15. SMC says the NAIA Expressway will also be integrated into the system by the first quarter next year.

“This is a welcome development for so many of our countrymen who will be heading home to the provinces this December,” said Department of Transportation secretary Jaime Bautista. ”Usually, our expressways experience the heaviest traffic, particularly in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Fortunately, it seems we will all have some relief starting this December, as our private partner toll operator, SMC Infrastructure, has successfully completed the work needed to make travel through SLEX, Skyway, and STAR, more seamless.”

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Frankly, this might seem a bit confusing at first, but we’re sure we’ll all get the hang of this soon enough. How do you think this will affect travel time in the south, readers?

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PHOTO: Sharleen Banzon
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