The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority says it is suspending the number coding scheme for provincial buses for six days starting Dec. 23 to accommodate more passengers going to or leaving Metro Manila for the holidays.
“To accommodate more passengers going to the provinces and back during the holidays, the Unified Number Coding for provincial buses will be lifted on Dec. 23, 24, 26, 27, 31, 2019 and Jan. 2, 2020,” the MMDA said in a statement on Friday.
“All enforcement units are restricted from apprehending all provincial buses on the said dates.”
MMDA chairman Danilo Lim said the lifting of the number coding scheme for provincial buses is usually made during the exodus of passengers during the holidays.
The MMDA has already dispatched more than 2,000 traffic enforcers, quick-response team members, and field personnel in three shifting schedules as part of the measure.
MMDA officials say people rush to shopping malls, restaurants, entertainment centers and other places during the holidays, resulting in the increase of vehicle volume in the metropolis.
The increase in traffic volume may also be attributed to the influx of people and vehicles coming from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon to Manila to go shopping, visit and spend the holidays with friends and relatives.
The MMDA says the holiday rush continues to slow the flow of traffic in Metro Manila brought about by the huge volume of vehicles, exceeding the capacity of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue by 75 percent.
EDSA’s carrying capacity is 160,000 vehicles per direction. Before the holiday season, 260,000 vehicles travel per direction along the main thoroughfare daily.