Travel & Food

Ultimate Guide to SLEX, NLEX and Skyway

Get in and out of the Metro with ease!



For the past year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered recurring lockdowns all over the country. To keep the public safe, the government cut back movement in and out of Metro Manila. With everyone compelled to stay at home, it might make you believe that the city’s main roads would be less congested, but that’s not exactly the case.


If you’re a regular driver or commuter, you would know that even amidst the pandemic, heavy traffic persists. You may no longer have to make daily commutes to work, but it’s so easy to lose your cool whenever you’re stuck in a slow lane. Thankfully, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other relevant agencies have answered the call by building new roads.


Motorists celebrated the completion of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 (MMSS-3). Alongside the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Skyway Stage 3 will make it a lot easier for everyone to travel safely and conveniently.

To help you navigate through the Metro, here’s everything you need to know about SLEX, NLEX and MMSS-3.


Flex your driving on SLEX

Have you recently checked the list of Philippine holidays and found out there’s a long weekend coming? A food trip to Tagaytay with the gang sounds so good. Luckily, that’s doable through SLEX.

SLEX is operated by San Miguel Corporation (SMC). The company offers Autosweep RFID, which can also be used on NAIA Expressway (NAIAX), Star Tollway and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX). The SLEX installation sites for Autosweep are as follows:


  • Southwoods Toll Plaza northbound, SLEX
  • After Calamba Entry Toll Plaza, SLEX
  • Eton Toll Plaza northbound, SLEX
  • TPLEX Tarlac Main Office northbound, SLEX


SLEX Entry/Exit and Toll Matrix


If you’re coming from Magallanes and exiting Sta. Rosa to get to Tagaytay, you’ll be charged ₱175 on your Autosweep. For a back-and-forth trip costing ₱350, you can already enjoy a warm bowl of bulalo!


Get un-vexed on NLEX

Craving for a plate of bringhe? You won’t need to endure a stressful trip just to have this Kapampangan rice dish, made rich and flavorful by coconut milk, turmeric and native chicken, thanks to NLEX.


The Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) operates NLEX. For road access, they provide motorists with the Easytrip RFID, which is also recognized at the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Cavite-Manila Expressway (CAVITEX), Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), and C5 Southlink. Installation sites for Easytrip along NLEX include the following:


  • Bocaue Barrier Lane, Lane X01, NLEX
  • Balintawak Lane, Lane N10, NLEX

NLEX Entry/Exit and Toll Matrix


From Balintawak to Angeles, you’ll be charged a toll of ₱248. For a round trip, that should be around ₱496 (excluding gas). While that looks like a stiff price to pay for bringhe, rest assured that it will all be worth it. After all, you’re in for a culinary adventure, and the dish is not something you often find in the metro.


Cruise with ease on Skyway Stage 3

The Skyway Stage 1 connected SLEX and NLEX, while Skyway Stage 2 made travel to and from Bicutan and Alabang easy. With MMSS-3’s completion, motorists have attained another level of commuting comfort. The road connects key locations in Metro Manila, which results in cutting travel time significantly. MMSS-3 has five sections:


  • Section 1: Buendia, Makati – Quirino Avenue – Nagtahan (3.37 km)
  •   Section 2: Nagtahan – Aurora Boulevard/Ramon Magsaysay  Avenue (6.19 km)
  •         2A: Nagtahan – Tomas Claudio (0.96 km)    
  •         2A: Tomas Claudio – PUP Sta. Mesa (1.30 km)
  •         2B: Tomas Claudio – Ramon Magsaysay Avenue/San Juan River (3.93 km)
  •  Section 3: Ramon Magsaysay – Quezon Avenue (2.71 km)
  • Section 4: Quezon Avenue – Balintawak, Quezon Avenue (4.46 km)
  •  Section 5: Balintawak, Quezon City – NLEX Footbridge (1.56 km)


      Skyway Stage 3 Entry/Exit and Toll Matrix


      The Skyway Stage 3, also operated by SMC, honors the Autosweep RFID. From Quezon Avenue to NLEX, expect to pay ₱129 one way.  


      FAQs

      Have any looming concerns? We’ve got you covered!


      • Are cash lanes still open?

      Yes, these expressways still honor cash transactions, but the plan is to go cashless eventually. Applying ASAP should help you avoid inconveniences in case they completely renounce cash-based payments.


      • What will happen if I pass by a toll gate with no balance left?

      If your RFID suddenly runs out of load, you’ll still be allowed to pass through. However, you might be asked to reload near the toll gate or on the next ticket booth. In case you pass by a toll gate thrice with no load, you may be subject to penalties.


      •   How can I reload my RFIDs?

      You may view your current balance or reload your RFIDs through multiple channels. You may visit their respective pages, load via GCash or add balance through text. To make things easier for you, take some time to check out our ultimate Autosweep and Easy Trip RFID guide!


      Get moving

      City traffic saps you of not only time and gas but your much-needed sense of cool. Fortunately, you have newly established expressways to get from point A to point B in no time. With the completion and changes brought by Skyway Stage 3, it should be much easier for you to have a smooth time on the road


      To stay connected, entertained and informed on the road, make sure to power yourself with strong mobile connectivity. Navigate through new places and have a good time on the highway by subscribing to a GoSURF promo!



      Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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