NLEX, or the North Luzon Expressway, stands as a crucial infrastructure in the Philippines, plays a pivotal role in the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) goal of connecting various regions and facilitating smoother transportation for road users. Established with the primary goal of improving travel efficiency, NLEX has become an essential component of the country’s road network, bringing numerous benefits to drivers, commuters, businesses, and the overall economy.
The NLEX is more than just an expressway. It stands as a testament to the nation’s commitment to improving transportation infrastructure for the benefit of its citizens and businesses. By reducing travel time, enhancing safety, and promoting economic growth, NLEX strives to create a more connected, efficient, and prosperous country that continues to grow, thanks to the infrastructure investments like NLEX that serves as key drivers of progress and development.
What is NLEX
The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) is a 105-kilometer controlled-access highway connecting Metro Manila to the provinces of Central Luzon in the Philippines. It spans from Sta. Ines Interchange in the north to Balintawak Interchange in the south, linking to the Skyway. Despite its name, NLEX concludes at Sta. Ines Exit in Mabalacat, Pampanga, situated in Central Luzon.
The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) not only functions as a crucial transportation route but also serves as a major utility corridor for high voltage overhead power lines in densely populated areas. One notable power line, the Hermosa–Duhat–Balintawak transmission line, utilizes NLEX’s right of way from San Fernando Exit in Pampanga to Harbor Link Interchange in Valenzuela, providing a unique perspective for motorists on their proximity to Metro Manila and San Fernando. Originally built in the 1960s to develop areas near Metro Manila, NLEX underwent expansion and rehabilitation from 2003 to 2005, leading to its modernization and transfer of operations to the NLEX Corporation in 2005.
NLEX Routes and Segments
The North Luzon Expressway’s main segment, known as the North Luzon Tollway (NLT) or NLEX Main, extends 84 km from Quezon City to Mabalacat, cutting northwards through Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga in Central Luzon. Starting at Balintawak Interchange, it runs parallel to MacArthur Highway, officially known as the Manila North Road, and features service roads on both sides in certain sections. The expressway narrows to three lanes per direction past Tabang Exit, traversing Guiguinto, Malolos, and Pulilan before the Asian Highway 26 (AH26) concurrency concludes at Santa Rita Exit. Moving through San Fernando, Angeles, and Mabalacat, NLEX connects with the Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway via Clark Spur Road, culminating at Sta. Ines Interchange.
NLEX refers to the entire sections otherwise referred to as Segments 8.1, 9, 10, and 8.2.
- Segment 8.1 is a 2.7-kilometer expressway connecting the NLEX, at its Valenzuela City junction, to Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City. Its major component is the cloverleaf Smart Connect Interchange which crosses the main expressway.
- Segment 9 is otherwise known as the 2.4-kilometer segment of the NLEX Harbor Link that directly connects Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela City.
- Segment 8.2 or the NLEX C5 Link refers to the 11.5-km expressway linking C-5 Road and Commonwealth Avenue to NLEX that follows an eastward route from Segment 8.1 along Republic Avenue before it turns to Luzon Avenue and ends at CP Garcia Avenue.
- Segment 10, also forms part of the NLEX Harbor Link, a 5.65-kilometer expressway that connects Segment 9 at MacArthur Highway in Valenzuela City to C-3 Road/5th Avenue in Caloocan City, extending 2.6-kilometers to R10 in Navotas City to provide direct access between the port area and the northern provinces of Luzon via NLEX.
Purpose of NLEX
The primary purpose of NLEX is to provide a seamless and efficient transportation route for commuters and freight, connecting the northern provinces to Metro Manila and beyond. As a major toll expressway, NLEX aims to reduce travel time, enhance safety, and contribute to the overall economic development of the regions it serves.
How to Use the NLEX
Using the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in the Philippines is relatively straightforward, but here are some general steps to guide you:
Step 1. Get an RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) Tag
Before using NLEX, it’s advisable to get an RFID tag for seamless entry and exit at toll gates. You can obtain an RFID tag from NLEX RFID installation sites, accredited installation centers, or through online application portals
Step 2. Load Your RFID Account
Once you have the RFID tag, load money into your RFID account. This can usually be done online or at designated reloading centers. The RFID account needs to have sufficient balance to cover your toll fees.
Step 3. Attach the RFID Tag
Affix the RFID tag on your vehicle’s windshield as per the installation instructions provided. Proper placement ensures smooth communication between the tag and the toll system.
Step 4. Approach the Toll Gates
When approaching the toll gates, follow the signs indicating RFID lanes. These lanes are equipped with sensors that detect your RFID tag, allowing for automatic toll deduction.
Step 5. Drive Through RFID Lanes
Enter the RFID lanes at the toll gate without stopping. The toll system will automatically deduct the appropriate toll fee from your RFID account. Ensure there is sufficient balance to cover the toll charges.
Step 6. Exit the Expressway
As you approach the exit toll gate, use the RFID lanes for a seamless exit. The toll will be deducted from your RFID account, and the gate will open automatically.
Step 7. Non-RFID Payment
If you don’t have an RFID tag, you can still use NLEX by using the cash lanes at toll gates. Take a ticket upon entry, and pay the toll in cash or through electronic payment methods when you exit.
Step 8. Follow Speed Limits and Rules
Observe speed limits and traffic rules while on NLEX. The expressway is equipped with safety measures, including CCTVs, to monitor and enforce traffic regulations.
Step 9. Emergency Assistance
Familiarize yourself with emergency contact information provided on the expressway. In case of any issues or emergencies, you can contact NLEX authorities for assistance.
Step 10. Stay Informed
Keep yourself informed about NLEX updates, toll rates, and any changes in procedures. Check the official NLEX website or contact their customer service for the latest information.
Remember that these steps are general guidelines, and it’s always advisable to check the specific rules and procedures on the official NLEX website or contact their customer service for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
NLEX Rules for Regular Road Users
1. Toll Payment
Regular road users must pay toll fees to use NLEX. Payment can be made through an RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tag or at cash lanes using electronic payment methods or cash.
2. RFID Tag
Consider obtaining an RFID tag for convenient entry and exit at toll gates. RFID tags enable automatic toll deduction, streamlining the toll payment process.
3. Speed Limits
Adhere to posted speed limits. Speed limits are enforced to ensure the safety of all road users. CCTV cameras and patrol personnel monitor compliance.
4. Traffic Rules and Regulations
Obey all traffic rules and regulations applicable on NLEX. This includes lane discipline, proper signaling, and adherence to traffic signals.
5. Emergency Assistance
Familiarize yourself with emergency contact information provided on the expressway. In case of breakdowns or emergencies, contact NLEX authorities for assistance.
6. Prohibited Activities
Avoid engaging in prohibited activities such as overspeeding, illegal parking, or any behavior that may compromise safety on the expressway.
7. Keep Updated
Stay informed about NLEX updates, toll rates, and any changes in rules or procedures. Regular road users should periodically check the official NLEX website or contact customer service for the latest information.
8. Proper Use of Lanes
Use the designated RFID lanes for seamless toll payment if you have an RFID tag. If paying in cash, use the cash lanes and follow the instructions for ticket issuance and toll payment.
9. Security and Safety
Be aware of security and safety measures implemented on NLEX. Follow any instructions provided during emergencies or unforeseen events.
10. Respect Other Road Users
Practice courtesy and respect towards fellow road users. Maintain a cooperative and considerate attitude for a safe and pleasant travel experience.
NLEX Toll Rates and Fees
For vehicles passing through the tollways of NLEX, the following toll rates apply:
|NLEX Toll Fee Rates
Balintawak to Marilao
|End to End
Balintawak to Sta. Ines
Class 1: PHP 62.00 (Open System); PHP 299.00 (end-to-end)
Class 2: PHP 155.00 (Open System); PHP 748.00 (end-to-end)
Class 3: PHP 187.00 (Open System); PHP 897.00 (end-to-end)
Speed Limit on the NLEX
Regular road users should always prioritize safety, follow expressway regulations, and contribute to the overall efficiency and positive experience on NLEX. Familiarity with the rules and adherence to best practices enhance the effectiveness of this crucial transportation infrastructure.
Video: Observing Lane Courtesy on NLEX
For tips on observing lane courtesy while driving along the NLEX, you may check out this video from NLEX Corporation directly:
The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) serves as a vital link connecting Metro Manila to Central Luzon, embodying the nation’s commitment to enhancing transportation infrastructure. Beyond being an expressway, NLEX symbolizes progress and development, contributing to economic growth by reducing travel time, enhancing safety, and promoting regional connectivity. For regular road users, adherence to toll payment methods, speed limits, and traffic rules ensures a safe and efficient journey, highlighting the importance of staying informed and respecting fellow road users. NLEX’s impact extends beyond transportation, embodying a vision for a connected, efficient, and prosperous Philippines.
For more information or concerns, you may reach out to the NLEX management via the following:
NLEX Hotline: 1-35000
Balintawak Customer Service Center
Km. 12 NLEX Compound, Balintawak, East Libis Baesa, Caloocan City
Office Hours: Monday to Saturday, 6:30 am to 8:00 pm
Valenzuela Customer Service Center
Km. 15 Northbound Exit, Paso de Blas, Valenzuela City
Office Hours: Monday to Saturday, 6:30 am to 8:00 pm
Tabang Customer Service Center
Km. 36 Southbound Entry, Tabang, Santa Cruz, Guiguinto, Bulacan
Office Hours: Monday to Saturday, 6:30 am to 8:00 pm
San Fernando Customer Service Center
Km. 65 Northbound exit, San Jose, San Fernando City, Pampanga
Monday to Saturday, 6:30 am to 8:00 pm
Permit for Long/Heavy/Wide Vehicles
Access Link: https://mptc.outsystemsenterprise.com/OVPS/login.aspx
Investor Relations: 8580-8900 local 8970 – Ms. Theresa O. Wells and Ms. Chiaralu L. Bautista
Government Relations: 8580-8900 local 8969 – Mr. Roberto N. Tañada and Mr. Edward Allan C. Gregorio
Customer Relations: 8580-8900 local 8853 – Mr. Melchor S. Ventura and Ms. Mary Ann B. Tolentino