To ease traffic congestion during the upcoming holidays, the North Luzon Expressways Corporation (NLEX) will be implementing a “barrier up” scheme during peak hours and will be opening their cash lanes again.

“In anticipation of the traffic surges, NLEX will conduct a timed ‘barrier up’ operation at RFID lanes and keep the barriers raised so that RFID customers need not stop even as the RFID sensor/scanners continue to record the toll transaction,” said NLEX through a press statement.

In a nutshell, motorists no longer need to go to a full stop when passing the toll booths during the barrier up operations. Instead, they just need to slow down as they would when passing through the toll booth and the sensors will automatically tag their RFID.

Return of cash lanes

Another measure being implemented by NLEX will be the return of cash lanes. Toll lanes currently marked “Emergency” are now accepting cash toll payments to cater to infrequent expressway users especially as the Christmas season nears. To date, the average daily RFID usage at NLEX-SCTEX stands at 86%.

Meanwhile, for the smaller toll plazas, where toll lanes are limited, an exclusive RFID lane beside a combined cash/RFID lane will be set up.

“As an interim measure during this transition to 100% RFID, we will allow cash payments in all toll plazas. About 15 to 20% of our lanes will be cash lanes. For instance, in Balintawak, we will assign around 3 or 4 lanes for cash users,” said NLEX Corporation President and General Manager, Luigi Bautista.

What about RFID installation and reloading?

RFID sticker installation will no longer be done at the toll gates, according to NLEX Corporation. Instead, the installation booths will be moved to “nearby areas inside the expressway”. NLEX has yet to mention where these installation areas will be.

For RFID reloading, motorists will no longer be entertained at all toll gates, except at the major toll plazas in Balintawak and Bocaue. Instead, motorists will be directed by NLEX RFID lane assistants to other areas where the reloading transaction can be done without blocking other motorists.