Motorists that frequently drive along EDSA alone may soon be banned. In a bid to further alleviate traffic along the busy thoroughfare, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recently proposed a new carpooling scheme that will encourage drivers to share rides with friends or colleagues.

MMDA wants to ban driving solo on EDSA

National Capital Region (NCR) questioned the MMDA on the proposed implementation of the carpooling scheme at the Metro Manila Council meeting held yesterday. For the MMDA, cars that have three or more passengers will be allowed to ply EDSA and will be exempted from number coding. Cars that only have two passengers can still travel along EDSA but are not exempted from the number coding scheme, however. Drivers that are on their own will not be allowed to access EDSA and can only use alternative routes going to their desitnation/s.

If approved and implemented, the new policy will ban solo drivers from taking EDSA (North Avenue to Magallanes) between the hours of 7 AM until 8 PM, Monday to Friday. However, motorists that are banned from using EDSA will be allowed cross intersections to get to their destination/s.

According to MMDA assistant general manager Jojo Garcia, 78-percent of cars in Metro Manila are only occupied by the driver which contributes to traffic congestion along the busy thoroughfare.

MMDA Chair Danilo Lim guaranteed that the carpooling scheme will not be implemented immediately as it still needs to be studied throughly. In addition, Metro Manila mayors need to approve the said scheme before it goes into effect. Lim added that they expect to have a definitive study of the proposal by year's end.

As to how the MMDA will be able to check cars that ply along EDSA, former MMDA Chairman Tim Orbos originally proposed to regulate car window tints last March to deter criminal activities. There has been no new development about the regulation of car window tints but that could soon change with the MMDA's new carpooling scheme. However, the MMDA is also thinking of flagging down heavily-tinted cars to check if they're carrying three or more passengers instead.