Malls asked to keep ‘late opening’ sked as MMDA notes better Edsa traffic
Mall owners will decide today whether to give in to a request from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to maintain the operating hours they kept during the holiday season.
Jojo Garcia, MMDA assistant general manager for planning, announced this to reporters on Thursday as he reported that travel time on Edsa was faster by almost 10 percent during the holidays because of the late opening of malls.
According to Garcia, MMDA data showed that travel speed on Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfare went up by 9.29 percent or 1.62 kilometers per hour, from 17.44 kph in September to 19.06 kph in November and up to early this month.
Although there was no data from 2016 for a comparison, MMDA General Manager Tim Orbos had said that on Dec. 22, 2016, travel speed on Edsa was 13.91 kph and it took an hour and 39 minutes to cover its entire length.
“We had expected that Edsa traffic would be much slower because of the holiday season, but it was slightly faster … because of late mall openings,” Garcia told reporters.
Garcia said the MMDA had asked the 16 managers of malls on Edsa to maintain their operating hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the entire year.
In October, the mall owners agreed to open their establishments an hour later, or between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m., to curb heavy traffic. Operating hours were expected to return to 10 a.m. up to 9 p.m. on Jan. 15.
The late mall openings proved “very crucial” in easing traffic Edsa, Garcia said.
But should the malls turn down the request, the MMDA is asking them to continue the arrangement at least until Jan. 29.
Garcia noted that traffic was expected to worsen once the government starts various infrastructure projects under the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build program.
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