25 October 2012

SBMA: Subic Bay area ready for ‘Undas’ 2012

Travelers planning to pass through or stay in this free port for the All Saints Day break can expect a comfortable and convenient ride along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the Subic-Clark- Tarlac Expressway.

This was the assurance given by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto Garcia after the management of NLEX and SCTEX announced new innovations at the said expressways to make travel safe and expedient for thousands of commuters expected to go home to their respective hometowns.

Garcia said the SBMA is doing its share to make the “Undas” a worry-free holiday for travelers to Subic. These measures include the establishment of information booths and water stations along the main thoroughfares of the Freeport, and the deployment of medical and emergency response teams, as well as police patrols on 24/7 duty from October 31 to November 4.

Garcia also noted that the SBMA efforts to guarantee safe and convenient travel to and from the Subic Bay Freeport are being complemented by the Tollways Management Corporation (TMC), which manages both NLEX and SCTEX.

In a separate media interview, Buboy Valles, senior corporate communications manager of TMC, said that with the introduction of new technology on traffic management, motorists and passengers are going to enjoy their vacation in Subic and other destinations in Northern Luzon.

Valles said that among these innovations are an intensified traffic management system in both expressways, the NLEX real-time advisory system, the North Luzon Integrated Guide and Travel Advisory System (NLigtas), the use of Lakbay Norte Pass, and the installation of additional high-definition closed circuit television (HD-CCTV) units.

He explained that through Internet connectivity using cellular phones and laptop computers, motorists can get traffic updates in any part of the expressways in real time.

Meanwhile, by using the Lakbay Norte Pass, the pre-paid toll cards available for all Class-1 vehicles, motorists will no longer need to pay cash, thus speeding up transactions in toll plazas during the All Saints Day break.

At the same time, more HD-CCTV and IP-CCTV units along the highways will cover more areas, thus making emergency response easier.

Valles estimates that around 185,000 vehicles will enter NLEX and SCTEX during this year’s Undas, with traffic projected to be heavier on October 31 and on November 3 and 4.

The estimated number of vehicles using the expressways is said to be 10-15% higher than last year’s estimate of vehicles using the NLEX and SCTEX. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)