MPTC may open future toll road projects to small bikes

Following the successful implementation of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway’s (CCLEX) allowing entry of sub-400cc motorcycles, a lot of motorcycle riders here in Luzon who are longing access to better and safer roads for mobility have raised the question: If they can do it in Cebu, why can’t we?

The good news is that the country’s biggest tollways operator, the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), is already studying the possibility of allowing sub 400cc motorcycles on their expressways.

Metro Pacific Tollways studying the possibility of allowing sub 400cc bikes image

“Actually, yung sinasabi ninyo po na below 400 [cc], pinagiisipan na po yan (that thing about sub-400cc, it’s already being thought about by the company),” told Arnold Babista, MPT South’s Head of Toll Operations, to during our visit at the company’s LEED Gold-certified head office in Cavite, the Hub. Babista also held top management positions during the design and construction stages of CCLEX.

He added that MPTC is now conducting various studies similar to progressive nations abroad to integrate sub-400cc motorcycles early in the design stage of their upcoming tollway projects.

Meron po kaming pagaaral ngayon na, katulad dun sa ibang bansa, pagka nag-design [ng bagong tollway], ilalagay na rin natin yung possibility na makagamit [ng expressway] yung below 400cc (We are now conducting studies, like those in other countries, to consider sub-400cc motorcycles when we design new tollways).”

Luzon tollways vs CCLEX

According to Ms. Ella Francisco, VP for Operations Management of MPT South, it is also worth noting that sub-400cc motorcycles’ use of CCLEX was already in mind early in the development of the said tollway because the grantors (Cebu City and Cordova) have made it clear that they want to give their citizens ease of mobility.

In Luzon, the grantors all follow the sub-400cc rule. These grantors are the agencies that gave permission to build the expressways are either the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

The TRB in 2019 said that they are studying the possibility of lowering the displacement requirement for motorcycles in expressways, saying that “the current policy was arbitrary when adopted. It did not give a fair chance for users of lower engine displacements to be considered in the use of the tollways through a policy based on a study on safety and efficiency.”

The Philippines is the only country in the world that has a sub 400cc rule which bans smaller motorcycles on these toll roads.