MMDA to ban driver-only cars on EDSA during rush hour

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – In a bid to decongest EDSA, Metro Manila mayors agreed to ban driver-only cars from the major thoroughfare during rush hour.

The Metro Manila Council, composed of Metro Manila mayors, approved the proposal on Tuesday, August 7.

This means that only vehicles with two or more passengers would be allowed on EDSA during rush hour under the new rule, though there is still no set implementation date.

Last year, the council floated the idea of banning driver-only cars from using the high-occupany vehicle (HOV) lane – the lane nearest to the center island. With the new policy in place, all lanes in EDSA are HOV lanes.

According to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia, 70% of vehicles on EDSA have only one passenger – the driver.

He said that guidelines on the new policy will be crafted following its approval. A dry-run will also be  done prior to full implementation.

Bus ban

The council also approved banning provincial buses from plying EDSA. 

The ban was supposed to take effect in July, but Garcia said they are still "contemplating" on whether the ban would push through on August 15, pending the completion of the government-owned provincial bus terminal in Valenzuela City.

"[W]e have to fix some facilities and other infrastructure at the Valenzuela interim terminal. We are not in a hurry to implement the policy as we want to make sure everything is in order," Garcia told reporters in a media interview on Tuesday.

Under the new policy, provincial buses coming from the South that do not have terminals in Pasay City are advised to use the government's Southwest Interim Provincial Terminal along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard.

Meanwhile, buses coming north of Metro Manila will have to use the Valenzuela terminal instead of their terminals in Cubao.

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.

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