MMDA proposes expanded 'number coding' on EDSA

Mike Frialde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is toying with the idea of modifying the present unified vehicular volume reduction program (UVVRP) better known as the “number coding” along the Epifanio delos Santos Avenue to cover four license plate endings per day.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino told reporters Wednesday that he is pushing for the expansion of the UVVRP on vehicles passing through EDSA from its present coverage of two license plate endings per day to four.

Tolentino said modifying the number coding scheme on EDSA, the traffic condition on the highway could improve by as much as 40 percent.

Tolentino said that if approved by Metro Manila mayors who comprise the Metro Manila Council (MMC) - the policy-making arm of the MMDA – the modified scheme will only be implemented on EDSA.

He said that under the modified number coding scheme, vehicles with license plates ending in 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be banned from using EDSA on Mondays with no permitted window hours. Vehicles covered by the scheme for that day are, however, allowed to use other major roads in Metro Manila, including the C-5 Road on the usual window hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tolentino said that it would be up to the MMC to decide whether public utility vehicles (PUVs) such as buses and jeepneys that also use EDSA, would be covered by the modified UVVRP.

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista told reporters that he is not in favor of including PUVs under the modified UVVRP as it would be a burden on the commuting public.

If the modified UVVRP along EDSA is approved by the MMC, a particular vehicle would be barred from using EDSA twice in a week.

Under the modified UVVRP, vehicles with license plates ending in 1,2,3 and 4 would be banned from using EDSA the whole day on Mondays; 5,6,7,8 (Tuesday); 9,0,1,2 (Wednesday); 3,4,5,6 (Thursday) and 7,8,9,0 (Friday).

Under the present UVVRP, vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 are barred from using EDSA and other major metro roads every Monday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Vehicles with license plates ending in 2 and 3 are barred from EDSA and other major streets every Tuesday; 4 and 5 (Wednesday); 6 and 7 (Thursday); 8 and 9 (Friday). The UVVRP is not implemented on weekends and during public holidays.

Under the present UVVRP, a “window” period is allowed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. except in Makati City where the scheme is effective for the entire day. Other cities such as Marikina and Taguig, do not implement the UVVRP.

Exempted from the present UVVRP are marked government vehicles, vehicles with diplomatic license plates, emergency vehicles and ambulances, police and military vehicles, properly accredited media vehicles and motorcycles.

According to Tolentino, a similar modified UVVRP scheme proved effective in decongesting vehicle traffic in the streets of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Tolentino said the present UVVRP scheme decongest metro streets by only 20 percent.

He said that at present, there are almost 3.3 million registered vehicles in Metro Manila from 1.9 million in 2010. He added that 326,504 vehicles pass through EDSA everyday.

According to the Traffic Engineering Center of the MMDA, if the unified UVVRP is implemented, vehicle speed along EDSA would improve from the present average of 30 kilometers per hour.

The modified UVVRP would also help improve traffic flow along EDSA and other major metro roads by some 40 percent. According to the TEC, an average of 264,067 private cars passed daily through EDSA last year.

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