Use of NLEX Connector will likely not be toll-free anymore by July 2023

Those using the NLEX Connector toll-free may have to begin paying next month. After the Caloocan-Espana segment was opened, the Connector has seen a high number of vehicles using the expressway. The next segment is on track to be opened soon, and with that news, NLEX Corporation has sought the approval of the Toll Regulatory Board to collect, well, toll fees from those who wish to use it.

Estimated PHP 473,000 daily loss from free use of NLEX Connector

Nlex Connector No Longer Free Dof Inline 03 Min

Photo: DOF

According to NLEX Corporation President and General Manager J. Luigi Bautista, the Connector has an average of 5,500 vehicles plying its usable stretches daily. The Caloocan-Espana segment spans a length of 5.15 kilometers and the Espana-Sta. Mesa segment will be another 7.7 kilometers of expressway available once it’s opened; that is estimated to be before the end of the year 2023.

Nlex Connector No Longer Free Dotr Inline 01 Min

Photo: DOTr

This daily average, when computed against a minimum fee of PHP 86, has resulted in a daily loss of PHP 473,000 thus far. This has prompted the proposal for the NLEX Connector to start charging toll fees from vehicles that will decide to use it. The Corporation’s request has already been sent to the Toll Regulatory Board and is pending approval. The likelihood of fares being collected starting sometime next month is quite viable.

Nlex Connector No Longer Free Dotr Inline 02 Min

Photo: DOTr

A lot of convenience and quicker travel times are the best benefits of having such tollways and expressways available. As we all know, the use of such roads has always come with associated toll fees, and this should come as no surprise. A toll-free NLEX Connector was bound to see its end and should have been expected. Many have already reaped the benefits, but not comes the time that we, the motorists, will have to submit to the norm of paying for these built roadways.

Sad as it may be, it is what it is, ladies and gentlemen. Your RFID tags will have to be loaded a lot more pretty soon and ain’t that the truth.

Mikko Juangco
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