EDSA traffic: Lockdown affords time to plan decongestion, says MMDA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2020 09:59 AM | Updated as of May 13 2020 11:59 AM

Buses line up at the yellow lanes, except for P2P buses, along EDSA in Quezon City on August 7, 2019. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA – The pandemic lockdown should give authorities time to plan the decongestion of Metro Manila's main highway, EDSA, in preparation for work and business resumptions, a traffic official said Wednesday.

Reducing routes and redirecting vehicles to roads outside EDSA will speed up travel between the north and south ends of the capital, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority general manager Jojo Garcia said. 

Transport authorities should reduce the number of buses allowed on the highway, currently over 4,000 units and 61 routes, he said.

“This is the right time to modernize, even the routes…What we’re trying to do is, ang EDSA maging connector na lang (make EDSA a connector). Meaning may isang ruta lang ang EDSA paikot ikot (there's only one route),” Garcia said.

The Luzon lockdown imposed on March 17 suspended all public transport, except those that ferry essential workers. The enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila will be eased from May 16 for the first time in 2 months. The so-called modified ECQ will last until May 31.

The rest of the country will be under general community quarantine with looser restrictions or no formal quarantine but with minimum health checks.

The fate of public utility vehicles under the modified enhanced community quarantine, in place until May 31, is still being discussed, Garcia said.

In areas under general community quarantine, public transport, starting with buses, were allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity to facilitate social distancing.