Will number coding return? Vehicle volume on EDSA nears pre-pandemic numbers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2021 10:05 AM

Traffic starts to build up at EDSA Guadalupe during the rush hour on Nov. 9, 2021 amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
Traffic starts to build up at EDSA Guadalupe during the rush hour on Nov. 9, 2021 amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA—The volume of vehicles using EDSA is approaching pre-pandemic numbers, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said Thursday, prompting the agency to consider enforcing anew the number coding scheme during rush hours.

According to MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos, more than 399,000 vehicles traversed the major thoroughfare on November 3 when the capital region eased to Alert Level 2.

"Ang huli naming talaan dati po ay pre-pandemic ay 405,000. Ngayon, itong nag-Alert Level 2, nasabik ang tao. Ang lumabas ay 399,000. Talagang dumami," he told TeleRadyo.

(Last time we counted during pre-pandemic is 405,000. During the Alert Level 2, the public got excited. Some 399,000 [vehicles] went out.)

On Nov. 9, the number of vehicles plying EDSA went down to 384,000, he added.

Despite the heavy volume of vehicles, Abalos said the travel speed was faster.

For example, on southbound, he said the speed was at 21 kilometers per hour, compared before to 11 kph.

In the interview, Abalos said they were considering reimposing the number coding scheme during rush hours.

The scheme, which was suspended in Metro Manila since 2020 due to the pandemic, may be implemented from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. instead of a full day.

"Kung mangyayari 'yun, tanchahin mo na lang. Kung ganun aabutin ka, 'wag ka munang umalis. Palipasin mo ang 2 oras. Magsakripisyo ka muna sa opisina mo," Abalos said.

(If that would happen, estimate your time. If you'd be caught by time, then don't go out. Let 2 hours pass. You sacrifice in your office.)

The MMDA chief noted that public transportation remained at 70 percent capacity. He also said private vehicles sort of served as "personal bubble," which means the safety of private individuals.