Back to normal? Nebrija says EDSA vehicle volume close to 2019 Christmas season figure

Published July 15, 2021, 1:20 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

Don’t look now, but the number of vehicles on EDSA is actually a hair’s breadth away from pre-pandemic Christmas season levels.

MMDA traffic czar Edison Bong Nebrija (Photo from Nebrija’s Facebook)

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic czar Edison Bong Nebrija said in an interview over a local cable news network Wednesday, July 14 that the volume of vehicles on EDSA has hit close to 400,000 per day.

“We’re already at 98 percent of the pre-pandemic volume. We’re already at 399,000 compared to the 405,882 that we had December of 2019,” Nebrija said in his interview, a video of which he shared on his Facebook wall on Wednesday night.

“The difference is when we had the 405,000[-plus] in 2019, EDSA was almost at [a] standstill and could hardly move, and that was a Christmas season number. Now we’re still in July, we have 399,000. But as you can see, yes we have so many volume, but the traffic is still moving. So that is good news,” he noted.

EDSA’s “Eagle Alpha” pointed to the easing of restrictions amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as main reason for the increased vehicle volume.

“The volume of EDSA has been increasing since we’ve been easing the quarantine status in Metro Manila,” he said.

“As of now we have opened 70 percent of the businesses and we eased up restrictions. Families can go out now, so there are more people using the roads not only for working but also for leisure purposes…even the malls are accommodating more people,” Nebrija explained.

“That’s why we’re monitoring the travel speed and travel time on EDSA so that this will also be the basis if ever we would reimplement the number coding,” he further said.

Regarding quarantine status, the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila has been under general community quarantine (GCQ) “with some restrictions” since June 15, 2021. Before this, the metropolis was placed under GCQ “with heightened restrictions” for two weeks.