Number coding remains suspended
An official of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said the number coding scheme is still suspended as public transportation has not yet returned to normal capacity, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
In a statement, MMDA Chair Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said public utility vehicles (PUV) are still limited to 50 percent of their maximum passenger capacity and there is still a need for more PUVs on the road, noting that there would be added strain to the public transportation system with the number coding in place.
“If we implement the number coding scheme now, can our public transport accommodate passengers given the minimum health protocols such as social distancing needed to be implemented?” Abalos said.
Increasing the strain on public transportation, he said, would also be “hazardous to the health of the majority.”
He said the number coding scheme would also encourage "carpooling" which may cause further spread of Covid-19.
Despite the increasing volume of vehicles along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa), he said vehicular traffic is still manageable as the average travel speed remains relatively high.
“Before pandemic, vehicle volume on Edsa was averaging at 405,000 but now, it is about 399,000. However, southbound travel speed is faster now at 27 kilometers per hour, compared to 11 kilometers per hour before the pandemic,” Abalos said.
The improved average speed on Edsa, he said, can be attributed to the implementation of the Edsa Busway, the opening of U-turn slots along Edsa, new road infrastructures and Mabuhay lanes.
Abalos said there is no need yet to reimpose the number coding scheme, noting that there are “many factors to consider before introducing changes to Edsa traffic.”
To avoid traffic and help lessen vehicular volume in Edsa, he called on motorists to make use of Mabuhay lanes and newly-opened roads as alternate routes to their destination.
“I am asking for the public's understanding and utmost cooperation as the government is still addressing the issue of transportation. Mabuhay Lanes serve as alternate routes for motorists who want more options going to their destination," Abalos said.
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