MMDA to Test High Occupancy Vehicle Lane on EDSA, Lower Speed Limit

Patrick Everett Tadeo

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to implement a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane along EDSA to further reduce vehicular volume. To test the feasibility of the scheme though, the agency wants to conduct a one-week dry run of the program starting on Monday, December 11, 2017, at 6 a.m..

Under the program, only vehicles with at least two or more passengers may use the HOV lane, which will be the fifth–and leftmost–lane on EDSA from the sidewalk. The HOV lane will not be exclusive to vehicles with more than one occupant though as motorcycle riders may also use it aside from the motorcycle lane which is the fourth lane on EDSA from the sidewalk. Meanwhile, single-occupant cars can still use the designated motorcycle lane (the fourth lane on EDSA from the sidewalk) and the third lane on EDSA from the sidewalk.

EDSa HOV Lane

According to the MMDA, violators of the HOV lane will be apprehended through its ‘no contact apprehension’ program and will be fined P500 “once this is fully implemented.”

“The Metro Manila mayors believe that motorists should share their rides with two or more passengers in order to ease vehicular volume in EDSA. High occupancy vehicle lane will encourage them to do this,” said MMDA Assistant General Manager for Planning Jojo Garcia.

The HOV lane program came about after the MMDA’s study on the traffic on EDSA revealed that at least 60 percent of vehicles that use Metro Manila’s main thoroughfare only have one occupant–the driver–and that around 7,500 vehicles pass along EDSA every hour per direction in excess of its maximum capacity of 6,000 vehicles per hour per direction.

Well, it looks like Waze’s High-Occupancy Vehicle Route Support may prove to be welcome in the Philippines after all.

Also, in addition to the HOV lane, the Metro Manila Council, the policy-making body of the MMDA, approved to lower the maximum speed limit –not only on EDSA but on Circumferential Road 5 (C5), Commonwealth Avenue, Roxas Boulevard, Quezon Avenue, and Marcos Highway as well–from the current 60 kph to 50 kph, ostensibly as a measure to “further minimize vehicular accidents,” though the resolution for its implementation has reportedly yet to be signed.

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