Skyway from Buendia to Balintawak may charge ₱5 per kilometer – Villar

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 22) — An elevated toll road that would decongest EDSA and cut travel time from Makati to Quezon City is set to open in April, but will likely charge motorists a fee set at ₱4 to ₱5 per kilometer (km), Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said.

Villar said during a press briefing in Malacañang that the Skyway Stage 3 project is expected to take away 100,000 cars from Metro Manila's busiest thoroughfare. However, vehicles that would opt to use the elevated toll road linking Buendia to Balintawak would have to pay toll charges.

"Hindi pa naman finalized 'yung toll fee but as a guide, more or less, we can expect about ₱4 to ₱5 per kilometer," Villar said on Wednesday.

Skyway Stage 3 is an 18.68-km elevated road that would serve as an alternative to EDSA. The ₱37.43-billion project, currently being built by a unit of San Miguel Corporation, is 76 percent completed. However, construction would continue as SMC proposed to extend the Skyway up to the toll plaza of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

An end-to-end drive using the Skyway could set a motorist back by some ₱90. Previous reports said that the toll fee could hit ₱11 per km.

Together with segment 10 of the NLEX Harbor Link project set to open in March, Villar vowed that EDSA traffic would ease by 20-30 percent by the second half of 2020. "Continued" improvements would come in the next couple of years for the capital's major road, he added.

Around 400,000 cars ply EDSA everyday, well above its capacity of 280,000 vehicles.

Villar insisted that with new infrastructure projects, President Rodrigo Duterte's recent promise that a five-minute drive from Cubao to Makati would happen soon is still doable. However, he declined to answer if the time limit is for travelers plying EDSA or if the car owner would have use the toll road.

"Ang importante lang, sa term ni President made-decongest natin ang EDSA at 'yung five minutes from Cubao to Makati, posible po [What's important is we decongest EDSA during the President's term. That five-minute drive from Cubao to Makati is possible]," the Cabinet official added.

The government overhauled its list of priority projects halfway into the President's term, dropping projects that take longer to complete and adding items deemed feasible by 2022.