Want to drive on EDSA solo? Now you may not be able to, at least during rush hours.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has gained the approval of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) for two traffic-mitigating measures that would soon affect both private and public utility vehicles along EDSA: the HOV or high occupancy vehicle lane policy, as well as new rules concerning provincial buses.
According to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia, the mayors gave their all-out support to the agency’s plan to enforce a new policy that would implement HOV lanes (also known as carpool lanes) along EDSA during rush hours. Under the measure, only those vehicles with two or more passengers will be allowed to travel through the busy thoroughfare.
“We have a data that 70 percent of vehicles along EDSA carry only the driver,” said Garcia. Garcia said they will craft the guidelines of the measure and will conduct a dry run before its full implementation. The MMDA is hoping to encourage the concept of carpooling with this proposed scheme.
The approval, which was announced by the MMDA, did not clarify a few important terms such as the actual definition of rush hours, or the use of the term passengers instead of occupants. Also, it did not clarify whether all the available private vehicle lanes of EDSA are to be considered HOV lanes, or whether the MMDA would designate a special lane.
In the same announcement, the MMDA will also work on implementing a new regulation governing provincial buses. The Metro Manila mayors also approved the implementation of provincial bus regulation along EDSA In spite of the approval, Garcia said they are still contemplating whether to push for the policy’s implementation on August 15.
“Mayor Rex Gatchalian gave his 100 percent support. However, we have to fix some facilities and other infrastructure at the Valenzuela Interim Terminal. We are not in a hurry to implement the policy as we want to make sure everything is in order,” said Garcia. With that, select provincial buses coming from the north shall end its route at the Valenzuela Interim Terminal while those coming from the south shall end their route at South Interim Provincial Terminal.
Along with those measures, the MMC also approved the increase in exemption fee for the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program from P300 to 1,000.
The MMC is composed of the mayors of the cities and one municipality that make up Metro Manila.