20% cut on vehicle volume seen

The expansion of the Metro Manila-wide numbers-coding scheme —- in effect from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday — will reduce vehicular volume in the metropolis by at least 20 percent during rush hours, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said Tuesday.

The morning ban was re-implemented in the face of the start of elementary and high school classes on 22 August with full face-to-face schooling commencing on 2 November, said the MMDA, the enforcement arm of the Metro Manila Council composed of the 17 mayors in the National Capital Region.

MMDA Director III Victor Maria D. Nuñez said the percentage of reduction was based on a study they’ve conducted, including at the 23.8-kilometer EDSA, which traverses several Metro Manila cities and serves as a barometer of traffic volume in the NCR.

Under the scheme, formally known as the Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program, vehicles are barred from Metro Manila roads during the said hours depending on the ending numbers of their license plates. For plates ending in 1 and 2, they are barred Mondays; 3 and 4, Tuesdays; 5 and 6, Wednesdays; 7 and 8, Thursdays; and 9 and 0, Fridays.

The hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. serve as a window by which vehicles covered by the UVVRP may travel without being apprehended. However, some NCR local government units with ever-changing coding regulations do not honor the so-called “window hours.”

On 4 August, about 387,000 vehicles were recorded to have traveled along EDSA, northbound and southbound, close to the 405,000 daily average recorded before the pandemic, the MMDA said.

The agency said they expect the volume of vehicles at EDSA to hit 436,000 daily when classes resume. Enforcers of the MMDA and the various LGUs enforce the numbers-coding scheme, with differing penalties for violators.

The MMDA said it will fully implement the scheme tomorrow, 18 August, during which traffic violation tickets each amounting to P300 will already be issued to a violator.

During the Monday dry-run of the scheme, about 1,500 vehicles were flagged by the MMDA for numbers-coding scheme violations.

MMDA Task Force Special Operations chief Bong Nebrija said motorists ticketed thrice for violations within the year would be summoned to undergo a seminar on road and traffic regulations.

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