MANILA – The dry run for the latest traffic -reduction scheme for EDSA, the designation of a lane limited to high-occupancy vehicles (HOV), starts Monday (Dec. 11), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said in a reminder late Sunday.
According to Cris Saruca of the Metro Mayors Council Secretariat, the information campaign and the dry run will run until December 17. “Full implementation will be on December 18,” Saruca said.
The MMDA hopes that with the HOV lane – where only vehicles with at least two persons are allowed – the number of private vehicles traversing EDSA will decrease by 30 percent.
Earlier, MMDA Assistant General Manager for Planning Jojo Garcia said that 70 percent of vehicles in Metro Manila have only one person, the driver, inside.
Garcia explained that under the scheme, the vehicles with at least two passengers including the driver may use EDSA’s innermost lane, located beside the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) rail line.
There are five lanes on EDSA: two outer-most lanes are intended for public transportation, while the three other lanes are for private vehicles.
“The cause of traffic really is the volume (of vehicles) yet we lack infrastructure,” Garcia explained.
Garcia said that the dry run will last for a week to determine its affectivity.
He said the HOV lane was agreed upon by the Metro mayors during the Metro Manila Council meeting Tuesday afternoon.
HOV vehicles are still subject to the existing number coding scheme, MMDA said.
Meanwhile, Garcia said they have yet to discuss the HOV measure with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, which earlier opposed the MMDA’s plan to implement a carpooling scheme.
Should the HOV measure finally be implemented, violators will be slapped with a citation ticket that goes with a P500 fine for disregarding traffic signs.
Besides ground apprehension, Garcia said they will also make use of the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras under the no-contact apprehension policy.
The HOV scheme will be in effect over the 24- kilometer stretch of Edsa, which has five lanes: two reserve for yellow lanes for public utility vehicles, while three are designated for private vehicles and motorcycle riders.