What Happened On San Miguel's Expressways Yesterday?

An explanation.
IMAGE SMC TOLLWAYS

If you got stuck in unusually heavy traffic on any of the expressways operated by San Miguel Corp. on Thursday (November 17), there’s finally an explanation. 

Roughly 84,000 motorists were affected by the traffic jam along portions of and the Star Tollway as early as 7 a.m.

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According to SMC Infrastructure, which oversees South Luzon Expressway, Skyway, and NAIA Expressway, a network outage in its electronic toll collection platform caused the gridlock.

“Our IT teams traced the source of the downtime to a cut in our fiber optic network. We are still determining the root cause of the damage, but there are indications that a major vehicular accident may have contributed to the situation,” the advisory read. 

SMC deployed additional manpower to provide support for motorists in a bid to ease traffic congestion. 

“We also opened affected toll plazas and waived toll fees,” the company said. “All in all, this covers around 84,000 vehicles that passed through the expressways from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, November 17.” 

The company added that motorists whose Autosweep accounts were deducted toll upon entry in any of the expressways will receive electronic refunds.

“While the system was restored around 9 a.m., we decided to keep barriers at toll plazas up, to enable all affected motorists to pass through for free,” SMC said. "Again, we apologize for the inconvenience, and ask for our motorists’ understanding, as we work to ensure that we deliver the same high level of efficiency and reliability they have come to expect from us, at all times.” 

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