NCR traffic back to pre-pandemic levels – MMDA

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star
NCR traffic back to pre-pandemic levels â MMDA
Vehicles crawl along EDSA in Mandaluyong City on Tuesday night. Vehicular traffic along major roads in the National Capital Region is expected to increase further as the NCR will likely shift to the more relaxed Alert Level 2 in the coming weeks.
Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Vehicular traffic in Metro Manila has returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

The MMDA, however, said despite the increase in public and private vehicles along major thoroughfares in the metropolis, travel time in the National Capital Region remains faster than before.

“Sa ngayon halos pre-pandemic level na ang dami ng sasakyan sa kalsada,” MMDA general manager Romando Artes said in an interview with “The Chiefs” on One News/TV 5 on Tuesday night.

Artes noted that before the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 405,000 vehicles passed through Metro Manila roads on a daily basis.

Based on the MMDA data, vehicular volume in Metro Manila has returned to 398,000 daily or a difference of only around 7,000 vehicles.

“But the flow of traffic is faster at 23 kilometers per hour compared to 11 kilometers per hour during pre-pandemic,” Artes said.

He attributed the faster travel time to the opening of bridges and skyway routes in Metro Manila recently as well as the implementation of the EDSA bus carousel system, which transferred the bus lanes from the left side of the major thoroughfare to the right.

“It appears that the EDSA bus carousel project is working. Based on our data, naging effective naman ang programa,” Artes said, adding that once a bus gets stalled too long along the road, this contributes to traffic congestion.

With the new and improved system in place, Artes said buses travel faster because they have their own lanes, specific stops and enough time to load and unload passengers.

Artes said the system benefits private motorists who enjoy faster travel time along EDSA.

Despite the increasing number of public and private vehicles in Metro Manila’s streets, Artes said the MMDA is looking at bringing back the number coding scheme.

“Pero pinag-aaralan pa lang. We are not inclined to resume the traffic scheme,” he said.

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