Edsa returning to ‘normal’
A month after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) suspended its free ride program in Edsa Busway, the agency on Thursday maintained that the operations of rail and bus lines along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue remained organized despite the recent traffic congestion.
The DOTr said that despite the suspension of the free ride program, more than 100,000 passengers still used the dedicated bus lane every day this month.
The agency added that more than 300 authorized buses had been operating in Edsa Busway daily and they are looking into adding more buses to meet passenger demand.
In June, the DOTr said the average daily ridership in Edsa Busway reached 150,000.
These figures are more than double the average ridership of 60,000 passengers per day at the Edsa Busway before the free ride program was implemented, according to the DOTr.
Still, the DOTr encouraged the public, including private motorists, to use the Edsa Busway and MRT 3 services to help decrease the number of vehicles on the road and traffic congestion on Edsa, especially during the rush hour.
Also on Thursday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it would not reimplement the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program or the number-coding scheme “as traffic is still manageable even if the volume on Edsa is slowly nearing prepandemic numbers.”
MMDA chair Benhur Abalos said “there are many factors to consider” before imposing policy changes in Edsa at this point.
If the number-coding scheme is reimplemented, Abalos feared that people might resort to carpooling that could compromise their health.
—MARIEJO S. RAMOS
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