MANILA - The "carpooling program" along EDSA that prohibits driver-only vehicles from passing along the major thoroughfare during rush hour will continue, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said Friday, citing a resolution approved by the Metro Manila Council.
The Council, composed of all Metro Manila mayors, serves as the policy-making body that approves or rejects schemes implemented by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
"The dry-run and test of the carpooling program of the MMDA will continue, subject to our presentation to the members of Congress," Bautista said in a press conference.
"We have to continue our dry-run so that we know ano pa ang further findings ng MMDA at ng mga local governments," he said.
Bautista did not mention when the dry-run would end.
The MMDA earlier said it would suspend its high occupancy vehicle scheme after it was criticized by lawmakers and the public, amid claims the policy will not encourage motorists to carpool or use public transportation.
"We are shooing cars away from the main artery to minor roads not wide enough to handle the surge in volume," Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto earlier said.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said the ban of driver-only vehicles along EDSA during rush hour was only a "short-term, band-aid solution" while waiting for the government to build more road networks that can accommodate the volume of vehicles in Metro Manila.
"Hindi 24 hours ito. Hindi buong Metro Manila ang pinaguusapan dito, EDSA lang. Hindi ito end of the world," he said.
Bautista said they will soon discuss several proposed traffic schemes with Palace officials. He also invited lawmakers to have a dialogue with the Council and the MMDA.