Mayors of Metro Manila cities have agreed on a new measure to combat vehicular congestion on EDSA: banning driver-only cars from plying it during rush hour. Approval from the Metro Manila Council, composed of Metro Manila mayors, came on Tuesday, August 7.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia has said that the proposed ban is a short-term solution to the worsening traffic situation in the capital. Still, the MMDA is now eyeing to trial the approved proposal for one week, to relieve some of the added stress as the government completes its infrastructure push.
“Subukan natin one week… Di naman tayo puwedeng mag-status quo na wala lang tayong gagawin habang lahat ay nagrereklamo. Ito pong ginagawa namin, short term lang naman po kasi ‘yung ‘Build Build Build’ ng ating gobyerno hinihintay natin,” Garcia told DZMM.
In the same interview, Garcia emphasized that implementation of the measure will be limited to EDSA. Driver-only vehicles are free to take other routes. Under the new rule, only vehicles carrying two or more passengers would be allowed on EDSA during peak hours.
THe proposed measure is similar to one proposed last year by the Metro Manila Council, where the high-occupancy (HOV) lane, the lane nearest the center island, would be reserved for vehicles with two or more passengers only. However, the new policy would treat all lanes on EDSA as HOV lanes.
Garcia cited that 70% of vehicles on EDSA carry only one passenger – the driver. Guidelines for the new policy will be crafted in preparation for implementation, though no date has yet been set for either the full roll out or week trial.