The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is seriously considering two proposals which aims to reduce traffic volume on EDSA and other Metro streets. MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino revealed the plan as he spoke at the sidelines during the 11th Asian Crisis Management Conference hosted by the agency.

Under the current traffic reduction scheme, vehicles are banned from EDSA and major thoroughfares in Metro Manila from 7AM to 10AM and 3PM to 7PM based on the last digit of its license plate. Vehicles are proposed to be banned as follows: Monday - 1 and 2; Tuesday 3 and 4; Wednesday 5 and 6; Thursday 7 and 8; Friday 9 and 0. Makati City implements their traffic reduction for the whole day, while Taguig and Marikina do not ban vehicles at all.

Jeepney loading passengers in No Loading/Unloading zone

The Chairman cited the increase in motor vehicle registrations as the reason behind the new proposal. In 2010, only about 1.9 million cars were registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO); currently there are about 2.3 million cars registered with the LTO, an increase of roughly 400,000 cars. The agency wants to adopt schemes used in congested cities like Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, that has effectively implemented their version of banning vehicles twice.

The ‘new’ modified scheme aims to ban vehicles based on their last plate digits twice a week. Under the new scheme vehicles will be banned as follows: Monday - 1, 2, 3, 4; Tuesday - 5, 6, 7, 8; Wednesday - 9, 0, 1, 2; Thursday - 3, 4, 5, 6; Friday - 7, 8, 9, 0.

Under first proposal, the MMDA is looking at implementing the modified scheme on EDSA and major thoroughfares of Metro Manila at the same hours as the original scheme. The second proposal seeks to ban vehicles twice a week along EDSA only. The proposed system aims to reduce the current 326,504 vehicles plying on EDSA by as much as 40%. The new proposals will be discussed with the Metro Manila Council composed of city mayors, congressmen and related agency heads, on July 24.

Tolentino has also cited poor planning in Metro Manila which only has 5,000 kilometers of road network in place instead an ideal 8,000 kilometers. He noted that a major metropolis like Metro Manila should ideally allot 25% of its total land area for roads.

Will this be a solution to our traffic woes or do you think the agency has to enforce the traffic rules more efficiently?