METRO Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) will be implementing a technology-based approach to help motorists manage their trips during the Holy Week, as traffic volume on its network is expected to climb between 10% and 15%.

The company’s enhanced customer journey services are reflected in MPT DriveHub’s traffic update function to help motorists anticipate traffic conditions ahead, officials said during a briefing on Tuesday, referring to the company’s all-in-one travel application.

The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) currently has an average traffic flow of “about 410,000,” NLEX Corp. President and General Manager J. Luigi L. Bautista said.

“We are expecting that this will increase by about 10-15%, so expect that this number will be about 470,000 during the Holy Week,” he added.

As for the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX), CAVITEX Infrastructure Corp. President and General Manager Roberto V. Bontia said: “We’ve been transacting roughly around 152,000 vehicles a day, so we are expecting a 10% increase.”

Meanwhile, the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), which now averages 28,000 vehicles per day, is expected to reach an average daily traffic of over 30,000 during the Holy Week, he noted.

“As we return to some normalcy as compared to recent years, we have anticipated this increase in volume by fielding additional personnel and offering special roadside services,” said MPTC President and Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo E. Franco.

The MPTC will be implementing its “Safe Trip Mo Sagot Ko” motorist assistance program on NLEX, CAVITEX, CALAX, CAVITEX C5 Link, and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) from April 8 to 18.

“Included in this program are the increased deployment of patrol crews, traffic marshals, security teams, and toll plaza personnel to ensure safety, and provide immediate assistance to motorists,” the company said.

“As in the past, emergency medical services and incident response teams will also be augmented and will be stationed at strategic areas of the expressways,” it added.

The company will suspend lane closures and mainline road works during the period “unless safety repairs are necessary.”

There will be a free towing service at the nearest exit for Class 1 vehicles from 6 a.m. of April 13 to 6 a.m. of April 18.

The company said motorists are encouraged to use RFID stickers (radio-frequency identification) for faster and safer transactions.

“Those who have no RFID sticker yet may have it installed for free in any of the Easytrip installation sites, and pay the initial load.”

“For the complete list of installation sites and reloading options, motorists may visit the Easytrip website or download the MPT DriveHub app,” it also noted.

The mobile application integrates three key functions in one: RFID transactions, trip planning, and emergency roadside assistance.

“Motorists can check their RFID balance and reload their accounts within MPT DriveHub before they travel on NLEX, SCTEX, CAVITEX or CALAX. A toll fee calculator is also in the app to help users calculate how much load they need in their RFID accounts,” the company said.

MPTC is the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin