MMDA revives ban on driver-only cars

The government is considering reviving the traffic scheme prohibiting car drivers without companions along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue during rush hours.

The Expanded High Occupancy Vehicle or HOV scheme will come into force soon after the planned crackdown on provincial buses is fully enforced on the 23.8-kilometer highway, according to the Metro Manila Development Authority. 

The HOV lanes will ban driver-only vehicles from traversing EDSA from North Avenue in Quezon City to Magallanes in Makati City from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays. 

Late last year, the MMDA suspended the traffic scheme after some senators urged the agency and its governing board, the Metro Manila Council, to conduct public consultations, to further study the ban and to provide real solutions to Metro Manila’s traffic congestion.

The traffic scheme also drew flak from motorists when dry runs were staged in August 2018.

MMDA EDSA Traffic Manager Edison Nebrija Jr. said they will revive the HOV policy once the agency has fully implemented its ban on provincial buses and those have moved their terminals outside Metro Manila.

“We see that the HOV is one of the best policies that we can implement in the sense it will reduce the volume on EDSA,” Nebrija told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

The HOV scheme, according to MMDA general manager Arturo Garcia Jr., is formulated to encourage motorists to engage in ride-sharing.

With the scheme, the MMDA is hoping to decrease by 30 percent the number of private vehicles traversing EDSA.

“We are calling on the participation of everyone. Participate in the car-pooling program, Garcia said.

He said the government was open to amend the guidelines of the policy aimed at reducing the number of vehicles along Edsa while encouraging people to car-pool.

The MMDA is also targeting the closure of 46 bus terminals along EDSA in July, but lawmakers have filed petitions asking the Supreme Court to stop the MMDA’s proposal.

Topics: traffic scheme , Epifanio de los Santos Avenue , Expanded High Occupancy Vehicle , Metro Manila Development Authority
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