The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is considering reimposing the number coding scheme during rush hours this peak buying holiday season when traffic is heavy.
The agency suspended the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) policy since the government implemented a community quarantine in Metro Manila amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.
The MMDA’s number coding system was devised to keep vehicles out of major thoroughfares on certain days based on the last digit of the license plate.
The system corresponds to 1 and 2 for Monday, 3 and 4 for Tuesday, 5 and 6 for Wednesday, 7 and 8 for Thursday, and 9 and 0 for Friday.
“If traffic continues to worsen, we are looking at the implementation of the number coding but not for the whole day. It will only be during peak hours of the day – 7 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 7 pm,” said MMDA chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr.
He said MMDA personnel will be monitoring the traffic situation for a couple of days more before coming up with a decision.
Abalos made the statement during Tuesday’s opening of the new Kalawaan Station for the Pasig River Ferry Service (PRFS) to draw more commuters from Pasig City.
The addition of the Kalawaan Station, located at N. Cuevas Street, with entrance near the Kalawaan Bridge, Pasig City, brought the total number of ferry stations to 12.
Chairman Abalos said the role of the ferry service is critical this time since public transportation in Metro Manila is not yet normal.
“The Pasig River Ferry Service is one of the solutions to the problems in public transportation,” said Abalos, adding that the ferry has been developed to provide a fast, smooth, reliable and affordable nautical transport system to help decongest road traffic in Metro Manila.
Two more stations — Quinta and Marikina – are also expected to be opened soon.
“We want to serve residents of San Mateo and other parts of Rizal.
This will be our new gateway, not just to address traffic, but also keep intact the rich cultural heritage of the Pasig River,” said Abalos.
The MMDA chief thanked Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, who graced the event, for being the agency’s partner in operating the ferry service.
For his part, Mayor Sotto commended Abalos for the continuous improvement of the ferry service that benefits not just his constituents but Metro Manila residents.
“If we want to improve the mobility of people, there is no other solution but mass transportation, including the river ferry service. I am glad that the ridership is gradually increasing,” said Sotto.
Pasig City District Representative Roman Romulo also congratulated the agency for making the service accessible to more city residents.
The PRFS serves an average of 300-440 passengers a day. Currently, the ferry service has a total of 17 ferry boats with nine operational. Rides are still free for the commuters.
The 11 other stations are Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin and Maybunga in Pasig City; Guadalupe and Valenzuela in Makati City; Hulo in Mandaluyong City; and Lambingan, Sta. Ana, PUP, Lawton, Escolta in Manila City.