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HIS EXCUSE: HOV POLICY MADE ME DO IT

MMDA man caught operating ‘colorum’ van

Even employees of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are having trouble complying with its high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) scheme on Edsa.

The InterAgency Council for Traffic (IACT) said on Saturday that it flagged down the vehicle of an MMDA general foreman, Mario Mendoza, who allegedly transported paying passengers so that he could pass through Edsa during rush hour.

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In a statement, IACT said a team managing traffic at the intersection of Edsa and Quezon Avenue stopped Mendoza’s silver van on Friday morning. They found four passengers who claimed they had each paid P60 for the trip from Malolos, Bulacan, to the Metro Rail Transit station on Quezon Avenue.

When confronted by IACT, which was going after “colorum” vehicles, Mendoza reportedly reasoned out that he picked up the passengers so that he would not be in violation of the MMDA’s ban on driver-only vehicles during rush hour.

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Not a free pass

This prompted Transportation Undersecretary Tim Orbos on Saturday to reiterate that the HOV scheme did not grant private motorists a free pass to pick up other riders illegally.

He also warned that violators would be apprehended with Mendoza’s van impounded “despite his pleas.”

“The government is constantly looking for solutions to end traffic woes but it seems that some are using [the HOV policy] to their own advantage,” said Orbos.

Last week, the MMDA said it would suspend the full implementation of the HOV policy amid criticism. Under the initiative, single-driver vehicles are banned from Edsa from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays.

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TAGS: driver-only vehicle van, Edsa traffic, high-occupancy vehicle, HOV policy, IACT, Mario Mendoza, MMDA, Tim Orbos
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