Citing severe traffic congestion on the Quezon City side of the NLEX Mindanao Smart Connect tollway in Valenzuela City, Mayor Joy Belmonte expressed support for Mayor Rex Gatchalian’s decision to suspend the business permit of the NLEX Corporation until the glitches identified with its cashless transaction are ironed out.

“I fully support cashless transactions, especially as this is part of the new normal. But if implementation is flawed, then the purpose of this technology, which is to promote convenience and speed up the flow of vehicular traffic, will not be achieved. In the case of Mindanao Avenue, traffic has in fact worsened,” she said.

Belmonte also thanked Mayor Oca Malapitan for his offer to cooperate with the NLEX Corporation in order to address all malfunctioning systems at the Balintawak toll plaza in Caloocan, since congestion and bottlenecks in the area greatly affect vehicular traffic in Quezon City.

“Our traffic enforcers have been deployed at the intersection of the NLEX Smart Connect tollway and Mindanao Avenue for several months now just to ease traffic due to this problem,” says Dexter Cardenas, head of the Quezon City Traffic and Transport Management Task Force. “Hopefully, the joint efforts of the LGUs and the NLEX Corporation will lead to favorable results benefitting our motorists.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Joy Belmonte reiterates her appeal to the DOTr, MMDA and LTFRB to re-open two major interchanges along EDSA. This would address traffic congestion resulting from the closure of U-turn slots to give way to the EDSA bus carousel.

She also recommends the re-opening of several U-turn slots, especially those necessary to reach the Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH), the city’s main Covid-19 health facility. 

“We hope the national government will consider some of our recommendations. On our part, Quezon City commits to deploy manpower to manage the interchanges and U-turn slots to ensure the unhampered movement of the carousel buses”, she expressed.