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Carpooling encouraged

Driving alone along Edsa may soon be banned

By: - Reporter / @jovicyeeINQ
/ 11:54 PM October 10, 2017

Published: 7:14 p.m., Oct. 10, 2017 | Updated: 11:54 p.m., Oct. 10, 2017

Drivers with no companions may no longer use Edsa once the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) implements the carpooling scheme that is geared toward encouraging the public to share rides with their friends and coworkers.

During Tuesday’s Metro Manila Council meeting, the MMDA was asked by mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) to gather more data on how it could best implement the carpooling scheme and how this latest traffic solution could help ease road congestion, particularly along Edsa.

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3 or more passengers

Jojo Garcia, MMDA’s assistant general manager for planning, said that under this policy, drivers with three or more passengers would be exempted from the number coding scheme and “may use Edsa anytime.”

Those with only two passengers can still use Edsa, but Garcia said they would not be exempted from the number coding scheme. Those driving on their own, though, would be “banned from Edsa anytime” and can only use alternate routes in going to their destinations.

Once implemented, the policy will be effective from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday. It would only cover the stretch of Edsa from North Avenue in Quezon City to Magallanes in Makati City.
Those banned from using Edsa are allowed though to cross intersections along the busy thoroughfare.

Garcia said they came out with this strategy since based on their data, “78 percent” of cars in Metro Manila carry only the driver, causing congestion in the already limited span of roads in the NCR.
Double number of cars

According to the MMDA, the number of cars in NCR has doubled over the last decade. In 2016, more than 2.6 million cars were in the metropolis.

MMDA chair Danilo Lim assured motorists though that this scheme would not be implemented until they have simulated the traffic initiative, which would still need the approval of Metro Manila mayors.

He added that they would also have to test other traffic measures proposed to them, such as the two-day number coding scheme and the Edsa “one way, all the way.”

Implementation

Lim said that they expected their traffic engineering department to have a conclusive study on the proposed road-easing measures by yearend.

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Since it is already the holiday season, implementation of any of these schemes would have to be deferred to “early next year,” he said.

Earlier, then MMDA officer in charge Tim Orbos was coordinating with various car manufacturers for the agency to come out with a regulation on car tints so the MMDA could kickstart a carpooling program.

It appeared though that the agency isn’t gearing toward this direction anymore as Garcia said their traffic enforcers would just resort to flagging down heavily tinted cars to determine if they are compliant with the carpool policy. /kga /pdi

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TAGS: carpooling, coding, Edsa, MMDA, riding solo
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