'Last mile routes' for trucks to worsen traffic

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Sep 04 2014 01:19 PM | Updated as of Sep 04 2014 09:19 PM

MANILA - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is appealing to the public to bear with a new measure aimed at decongesting Metro Manila's ports and facilitating faster delivery of goods to warehouses.

Speaking to ANC, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said the Cabinet has approved a measure that will open "last mile" routes for cargo trucks.

These routes will allow cargo trucks taking express trade lanes to complete the delivery of goods to their designated end-point in case they are caught on the road outside their travel window.

The measure will be implemented from September 8 to 22.

''We might experience congestion for the next two weeks until September 22. What we're going to do this coming Sunday is that those who will support the port operations during weekends will be given incentives. Those who will support will be given a merit, so to speak, by having a tag allowing them to use the last mile,'' Tolentino said.

''If you are coming out of the port on a Sunday, the MMDA and LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) will provide a tag that will allow you to use the last mile route without fear of being apprehended even during the next two weeks."

Tolentino said due to the last mile solution, there is a possibility that trucks will be seen along Aurora Boulevard, Sucat Road, and Nagtahan area even during truck ban hours.

Tolentino, however, stressed that only cargo trucks bearing a tag provided by the MMDA will be able to take advantage of the two-week implementation of the "last mile routes" approach.

The last mile solution was discussed during a recent Cabinet cluster meeting which tackled solutions in solving congestion in Manila's ports.

The MMDA explained that in transportation, the ''last mile'' refers to the movement of people and goods from a transport hub to its final destination. From the point of view of truckers, this refers to the movement of cargo trucks from the port to their warehouses inside and outside Metro Manila.

The government came up with the last mile routes solution after truckers noted that even if they use the 24/7 express lanes in Manila – located along Roxas Boulevard, Quirino Avenue, and Osmeña Highway - some of them are still not able to deliver the goods to the warehouses because of the enforcement of truck ban ordinances in other parts of Metro Manila.

At least 2,000 trucks allowed to use the last mile routes will be tagged on Saturday. – with ANC