'Traffic still manageable': MMDA says no need to expand number coding scheme

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2022 04:44 PM

Traffic builds up along EDSA in Quezon City on March 3, 2022, as Metro Manila eased into alert level 1. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file
Traffic builds up along EDSA in Quezon City on March 3, 2022, as Metro Manila eased into alert level 1. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

Volume of vehicles in NCR not back to pre-pandemic levels

MANILA - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Friday rejected calls to expand the number coding scheme despite eased pandemic restrictions, saying there is no need for it yet.

MMDA Director Neomie Recio said the volume of vehicles plying major thoroughfares in Metro Manila has not returned to pre-pandemic levels. 

Because of the heavy traffic though, MMDA since November last year implemented the number coding scheme on weekdays, except for holidays, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"Based on our data, this is not the right time na mag-expand tayo kasi based doon sa volume and sa travel time, travel speed na nakukuha ng travel engineering center ng MMDA, still manageable yung traffic and hindi pa naman tayo bumabalik sa pre-pandemic na sitwasyon natin," Recio said in a public briefing.

(Based on the travel time, travel speed that the travel engineering center of MMDA, the traffic is till manageable and the volume has not returned yet to pre-pandemic levels.)

"Of course we are preparing for the coming of the new normal kapag ang trapiko ay nag-worsen, ano-ano pa bang measures na ginagawa natin dati," she added.

(We are preparing when the traffic worsens under the new normal. This includes identifying the measures we did before.)

The official noted that in 2019, the MMDA recorded some 405,000 vehicles in the region's major roads. On Thursday, she said the MMDA only recorded 377,000. 

High fuel prices, she said, might be among the reasons why there are relatively fewer vehicles on the road. 

Despite this, major roads can still experience heavy traffic, she said, which was why the MMDA is looking for ways to regulate vehicles, which could include the return of the motorcycle lane. 

"Tumaas yung volume ng motorsiklo and ang pinag-uusapan ngayon is ibabalik na ba yung motorcycle lane na panghuhili namin. Noong pandemic nag-lay low kami kasi kakaunti naman yung sasakyan noon," she said.

(The number of motorcycles increased, so we are thinking of bringing back the motorcycle lane so we can catch violators. Before, we lay low because the number of vehicles were fewer.)

"Hindi kami nanghuli ng mga nagva-violate ng motorcycle. Ngayon medyo umaangat-angat yung trapik, then iniisip namin kung ibabalik [yun]" she added.

(We did not catch motorcycle violators, now we are thinking of bringing it back.) 

Implementation of the uniform light trucks ban on EDSA and Shaw Boulevard resumed in November last year. 

The number coding scheme was suspended after the COVID-19 pandemic limited public transportation in 2020. 

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