‘Traffic is still manageable’: MMDA says number coding scheme remains suspended

Even though the volume of vehicles on EDSA is already nearing pre-pandemic levels, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Thursday that the number coding scheme in the metropolis will remain suspended as traffic is still “manageable.”

In a statement, MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. said that he does not see the need to reimpose the number coding scheme just yet since “there are many factors to consider before introducing changes to EDSA traffic.”

For instance, the MMDA chief said that motorists with only one vehicle would be “severely affected” with the reimposition of the number coding scheme since they would be forced to use public transportation. He explained that motorists affected by the measure would add up to the number of commuters lining up for public utility vehicles.

“This will be hazardous to the health of the majority,” he said.

Vehicles crawl through traffic along EDSA in Makati on Wednesday evening.

The MMDA official also mentioned the possibility that people might resort to carpooling once the number coding is re-implemented, which might compromise the health of the riding public. Aside from that, Abalos also noted that public transportation is still operating at 50% passenger capacity.

“If we implement the number coding scheme now, can our public transport accommodate passengers given the minimum health protocols such as social distancing needed to be implemented?” Abalos said.

Meanwhile, he also noted the “improved” travel speed on EDSA despite the increased volume of vehicles along the thoroughfare.

“Before pandemic, vehicle volume on EDSA was averaging at 405,000 but now, it is about 399,000. However, southbound travel speed is faster now at 27 kilometers per hour, compared to 11 kilometers per hour before the pandemic,” Abalos explained.

Abalos said that the mabuhay lanes, EDSA busway, as well as the opening of U-turn slots along EDSA improved the traffic flow along the thoroughfare. 

Meanwhile, the MMDA official also urged motorists to avoid EDSA and use the mabuhay lanes as well as the newly-opened roads as alternate routes in order to avoid being stuck in traffic.

“I am asking for the public’s understanding and utmost cooperation as the government is still addressing the issue of transportation. Mabuhay Lanes serve as alternate routes for motorists who want more options going to their destination,” Abalos said.

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