Although traffic still lingers on EDSA during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade insisted that travel time along the country’s main thoroughfare has already improved.
In his speech during a virtual event with the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) on Tuesday, May 11, Tugade cast aside as “false narratives” the claims that the DOTr had totally solved the problem of heavy traffic on EDSA.
But Tugade couldn’t help but acknowledge that travel time along EDSA has somehow eased thanks to the more organized system that’s in place.
He said this means that there is now a proper area for loading and unloading of passengers, on top of the implementation of the EDSA Busway which has facilitated faster commute.
“Wala akong sinabi na nawala ang traffic sa EDSA dahil sa amin dahil maraming contributing factors yan. May traffic pa rin, pero ang sinasabi natin, kumpara dati na labu-labo ang sasakyan sa EDSA, kung saan-saan bumabalandra ang mga bus para mag-load at unload ng pasahero, at ang tao ay umaabot na sa gitna ng kalsada para makasakay ng bus, mas organisado na po ngayon (I didn’t say that we solved the traffic problem on EDSA as there are many contributing factors. There is still traffic but compared to the past when vehicles pile up on the road and buses zig and zag in order to pick up and drop off passengers, it is more organized now),” Tugade explained.
The DOTr chief added that EDSA’s improved vehicle flow was also due to the concerted efforts of other agencies such as the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“The pandemic may have resulted in less congestion, but with the help and support of the MMDA and completion of other crucial projects to ease traffic flow, such as the EDSA Busway of DOTr, the much-improved operation of the MRT-3 (Metro Rail Transit), and Skyway Stage 3 of DPWH, solutions are coming together to address the problem of perennial traffic in EDSA,” he added.
Tugade vowed to step up the DOTr’s efforts in improving the country’s transportation system with roughly a year remaining in the Duterte administration.
“There is still far more work to do. Is it the end? No. Our ambition, hand-in-hand with the President and following his mandate is to make the Filipino life convenient and comfortable,” he said.