Senators call for suspension of MMDA's driver-only ban on EDSA

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Senators call HOV policy violative of road user's tax-paying motorists rights

It appears that the upper house is making their voice heard over the MMDA's implementation of the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) policy along the National Capital Region's primary arterial road: EDSA.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, and Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri filed Senate Resolution 845 which strongly urges an immediate recall and suspension of the MMDA's HOV policy for EDSA.

The filing of the resolution coincides with the start of the Metro Manila Development Authority's dry-run implementation of the traffic-alleviating scheme on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA). The policy prohibits vehicles with just one occupant (the driver) from plying the road during rush/peak hours. 

The official release from the Senate states that the controversial HOV scheme “was set in place without public consultation and due process”. 

The HOV policy put forth by the MMDA was approved by the governing body of the agency: the Metro Manila Council which is comprised of the mayors of the cities and one municipality that make up the National Capital Region.

The resolution cited that HOV lanes in other regions were incentive-based and not restrictive, as occupants with multiple passengers were allowed to enter special, faster lanes for quicker transit, as opposed to banning cars driven by its owner. Also cited were studies showing the ineffectivity of HOV lanes in other countries, leading them to be scrapped altogether. 

Resolution 845 also stated that the regulation would affect the 70% driver-only road users of EDSA (the same percentage cited by MMDA) that pay road taxes without holding a prior consultation with the public. 

As to whether or not the MMDA or the Metro Manila Council will heed the resolution, we shall see soon enough.  

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