Driver-Only Car Ban in EDSA, Looked Into by the MMDA

Do you remember the mandate that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) imposed to have a driver-only car ban in an attempt to regulate the traffic along the road? They’re planning on reviving that rule with the hopes of resolving the traffic as well as to live by President Duterte’s promise.

Provincial buses and driver-only car ban rule in EDSA being visited again
This image was taken from ABS CBN News |

Amidst the congestion happening in the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), a lot of people were complaining about the travel time along the circumferential highway. In addition to that, President Rodrigo Duterte made a promise that the travel time to and from Makati and Cubao would be smooth and would just be five (5) minutes.

Read: Toll Hike of SCTEX to Start Next Week

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said that they plan on fully implementing the ban on provincial buses on EDSA. What they want to do is to move the terminals of these provincial buses outside the capital starting next month.

Bong Benrija, MMDA Traffic Manager mentioned that they are ultimately ready for the transfer. What they’re just waiting for is the approval and the broadcast of the new fare matrix for these city buses to cover the new routes when they pick up and drop off passengers—this, of course, will be coming from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTRB).

They are doing it right now, we’re just waiting for the final guidelines.”

A total of three (3) petitions were submitted to the Supreme Court to halt this proposal of the MMDA. As of now, the MMDA is trying to make amends with bus companies and operators to not add high fees because of the fact that their operations will be extending.

The petitions that were filed called this specific measure inconvenient for the passengers because they would be required to travel to specific places for it. In addition to that, Nerbija said that no specific order was received about this concern but there were debates and arguments directed to this to answer to the complaints.

How many provincial buses pass through EDSA?

According to MMDA data, provincial buses make up five (5) percent of all the motors and vehicles that pass through EDSA. So, eradicating provincial buses in EDSA would overall improve and hasten the flow of traffic on the highway.

According to the simulations done, the travel speed could drastically improve by a total of fourteen (14) percent when this happens. Moreover, the travel time would be cut down by 26 percent if the flow goes according to plan.

It’s not just the buses, however, who take up most of the problem in EDSA. As per Nerbija, private cars and public utility vehicles like taxis also pick up passengers randomly in the middle of the street.

In our defense of this policy, the terminals are the traffic generators… It totally blocks the flow of pedestrian traffic in that area.”

So, the overall plan would be by disabling bus terminals in EDSA—which mostly run along the Makati (Buendia)—Cubao route. As per Nerbija, this plan should be accomplished by mayors who would be in assumption, be effective on the 1st of July, 2019. More so, they all are expecting that the provincial bus scheme would be effective also in July.

Read: Speed Limit, Clarified by MMDA

The driver-only car ban

When the plan becomes effective, the MMDA said that they will be bringing back the driver-only car ban rule on EDSA proposal. This, according to record, would be done to improve the flow of traffic along the highway.

What they yearn to see is carpooling or multiple vehicles with multiple passengers running and grooving along EDSA to lessen vehicle volume on the highway. However, the Senate submitted some sort of a resolution as there would be continuous consultations and studies as regards the proposal.

In conclusion, they’re still trying to observe the mandate because they would also have to consider the visibility of the cars that have tints so that they can see whether or not a vehicle contains one (1) or more passengers.

Read: 77 Choke Points, Identified by the MMDA

As per data, the driver-only car ban could remove an estimate of 140,000 vehicles off of EDSA every single day—which would pave way for a smoother and a cleaner EDSA.

What do you think about the driver-only car ban being in effect? Would this apprehend the culprits of traffic on EDSA? Or would this have little-to-no effect in the traffic that the Metro is currently experiencing?

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