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Dry Run of MMDA’s High Occupancy Vehicle Scheme on EDSA to Start on August 15

Carmageddon's Coming!

It looks like the payday traffic next week on August 15 will be worse than ever as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced that it will start the dry run of its proposed expanded High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) traffic scheme on Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) on that day, specifically from 7 to 10 AM and from 6 to 9 PM.

The MMDA first conducted a dry run of the HOV lane along EDSA in December 2017, with one lane of the thoroughfare, specifically the the fifth and leftmost lane on EDSA from the sidewalk, reserved only for vehicles with at least two occupants, including the driver. For the expanded scheme that will take place next week however, vehicles with single occupants will be restricted from using EDSA, thereby limiting the use of the metro’s main highway to vehicles with two or more occupants.

According to the agency, an average of 367,738 vehicles traverse EDSA daily, with 67 percent of these vehicles being private motor vehicles. Furthermore, 60 to 70 percent of the private motor vehicles on EDSA only have one occupant for an average of 148,516 to 185,645 single-occupant vehicles per day.

With the expanded HOV traffic scheme, the MMDA expects vehicle volume on EDSA to be reduced by 40 percent during the times it is in effect.

“Let us see for one week how the HOV scheme will work,” said MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia at a press briefing yesterday, August 10. “We are calling on the participation of the public.”

And where will the displaced 40 percent of single-occupant vehicles go as estimated by the MMDA? To the side streets and major thoroughfares that aren’t called EDSA, of course. But while Garcia claims the agency has been relentless in clearing the secondary roads and alternate routes everyday, he reluctantly admits that the MMDA “can only do so much.”

“As part of the information drive, we will just inform and warn motorists about the HOV scheme,” Garcia added.

To help enforce the HOV scheme, the MMDA will monitor the vehicles on EDSA during the week-long dry run with its series of closed-circuit television cameras installed along the highway. Violators caught on camera will then be summoned via the agency’s no contact apprehension policy.

So, prepare for Carmageddon in Metro Manila next week.

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