Travel time from north to south EDSA is now faster by 50 percent compared to pre-pandemic days even though the volume of traffic has almost returned to normal, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported.
MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said during a Cabinet meeting with President Duterte Monday night that travel time from EDSA-Monumento to EDSA-Roxas Boulevard has decreased from 2 hours and 5 minutes in January 2020 to 59 minutes only on October 7, 2021.
This means that travel speed has also gone faster from 11.02 kilometers per hour (kph) to 23.34 kph.
EDSA’s traffic a year and a half since the COVID-19 pandemic began has improved although the volume of vehicles plying the highway almost returned to pre-pandemic days. On Oct. 7, 2021, about 390,238 vehicles plied along EDSA as of Oct. 7, 2021, which were only a little less than the 405,882 vehicles recorded on July 8, 2019.
On the other hand, Abalos said MMDA cannot lift the number coding scheme yet in Metro Manila due to still limited public transportation amid restrictions brought by COVID-19 pandemic.
Along EDSA, cars composed 59 percent of the total vehicles passing through while only one percent are buses and six percent are taxis.
In Metro Manila, the plurality are private cars, at 48 percent. They are followed by motorcycles at 39 percent and taxis at 4 percent.
“If we suspend the number coding, car owners might take buses. Right now, our mass transport is not yet normal. [So if there’s a crowding in public transportation], there might be more risk of COVID-19 infection,” Abalos said in Filipino.