MMDA expects the worst in EDSA traffic

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - The Philippine Star
MMDA expects the worst in EDSA traffic
In this Sept. 13, 2019 photo, motorists plying EDSA northbound in Quezon City experience bumper to bumper traffic during the morning rush hour traffic.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — (Updated 3:42 p.m.) The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has admitted it is “expecting the worst” for traffic on EDSA as the number of cars using the major thoroughfare is approaching pre-pandemic figures.?

In an interview with One News yesterday morning, MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said the number of cars currently using the avenue is already nearing 400,000 – almost similar to the “Carmageddon” along EDSA before the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year.

“Now, that is our situation. Only a few (thousand number of cars) and we are back to the (number of cars during) pre-pandemic time,” Abalos said in Filipino and English.

“There is only a difference based on the status. For example, when the new variant (of COVID-19) was found earlier in the year, the number (of cars) dipped by 10,000. Every time there is a new status, the number dips. But for now, let us expect the worst. Let us expect it to a number closer to pre-pandemic figures,” he added.

To alleviate traffic congestion along EDSA, Abalos said they are looking into instituting several possible policies, taking into consideration that the capacity is only about 300,000 cars a day.

He stressed the need to maximize Metro Manila’s mass transport system that include the railways and bus carousels.

 In an interview with The STAR, Abalos said that while the volume of cars is approaching pre-pandemic levels, the speed of the cars “doubled.”

“In terms of speed, the vehicles are faster, compared to before. The cars are now at 24 kilometers per hour, while before, cars run at 11 kilometers per hour,” Abalos told The STAR in Filipino on Saturday.

“We are expecting the worst in terms of volume, but we have better speed now… Both northbound and southbound traffic are now more spacious,” he added.

More bridges and tollways are also being built, which alleviates the EDSA traffic, the chairman said.

Last week, President Duterte said the traffic in EDSA has been “solved” by his administration, noting that travel time from Cubao in Quezon City to Pasay only takes 15 minutes.


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