The great debate of people living in the north and the south, comparing which is the best place to live. From what is the most accessible to which is the more happening side.
Whether we travel to north or south side of Luzon, we can’t help but compare the two of the most known expressways.
North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)
The North Luzon Expressway, formerly knowns as North Diversion Road and Manila North Expressway is obviously an expressway that connects parts of Manila to certain provinces of Central Luzon.
The expressway starts in Quezon City at the Balintawak Interchange then it passes through Caloocan, Valenzuela in Metro Manila and Bulacan and Pampanga in Central Luzon. NLEX ends at Mabalacat and merges with MacArthur Highway.
The tollway has two sections: an open and a closed section. The open section has a flat toll based on vehicle class. The closed section is distance-based, charging based on the class of vehicle and distance travelled. Class 1 vehicles consists of cars, motorcycles, SUVs and Jeepneys. On an Open System Class 1 vehicle are charged 45 pesos from Balintawak to Marilao. Class 2 vehicles which consists of buses and light trucks are charged 114 pesos while Class 3 vehicles which consists of Heavy Trucks costs 136 pesos. On a Closed System, which starts from Bocaue to Sta Ines, Class 1 vehicles are charged 2.26 pesos per kilometer. Class 2 are charged 6.66 pesos per kilometer while Class 3 vehicles are charged 8 pesos per kilometer.
Currently, in terms of traffic, NLEX does have more volume than SLEX but it is faster though there have some road widening on some portions. Some areas particularly parts of Bulacan and Pampanga have some build-up of traffic due to road widening and repairs.
South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)
South Luzon Expressway, formerly called South Super Highway and Manila South Expressway is a chain of two expressways that connect southern parts of Metro Manila to the provinces of the CALABARZON region. One of the expressway that connects to the SLEX is the Metro Manila Skyway System or Skyway. The other one is the Alabang-Calamba-Sto. Tomas Expressway or ACTEX.
Unlike NLEX, SLEX’s tollway has only one section. Their tollways are distance-based charging based on the class of vehicles. Class 1 vehicles are charged 3.37 pesos per kilometer while Class 2 and 3 are charged 6.74 pesos per kilometer and 10.11 pesos per kilometer respectively.
Traffic in SLEX is not as good as NLEX. If you’re coming from Calamba then you might be experiencing heavy traffic every day. Though, RFID can be a good help in avoiding long lines at the tolls so it is advisable that you avail one.
Why do we even compare them?
Luzon has always been divided into north and south, or maybe that’s what people think. At the end of the day though, it’s not about North vs South. The Pettiness on the North vs South argument can be solved through an efficient public transportation system.
Fret not, the construction of the new Skyway is currently in the works and is expected to be finished by this year. The Skyway Stage 3 project which involves 14.8-kilometer elevated tollway connecting the SLEX in Buendia and NLEX in Balintawak.
So, you don’t need to compare whether which one is the best expressway. You can travel from the south to the north and/or vice-versa in just 20 minutes.