Anticipating heavy traffic congestion when the government ramps up its infrastructure projects this year, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has asked shopping mall operators to sustain the “open late, close late” schedule of commercial hours.
“We had a meeting with the mall operators to maintain the 11 am opening,” said Jojo Garcia, MMDA assistant general manager for planning, citing that the policy was set to end on January 15.
He said that the average travel time along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) shortened by 10 percent when shopping malls adjusted operational hours of malls from 10am-to-9pm to 11am-to-10pm since October.
He noted that, during the holiday rush, shopping malls along EDSA agreed to modify their shopping malls for improved management of the Christmas traffic situation in the metropolis.
MMDA addressed various requests of at least 25 mall operators, in the process also asking the merchants to submit the impact of the adjustment on their sales.
The average cruising speed along EDSA of 17 kilometers per hour before the mall hours adjustment improved to 19 kph when the malls started operating from 11 am to 10 pm.
Based on the agency’s records, traffic volume in Metro Manila swelled by 15 to 20 percent during the holidays.