Improve EDSA traffic

Based on logic, we limit single-use vehicles to EDSA, Metro Manila's main thoroughfare running through six of the 17 local units of the metropolis, during rush hours from 7 to 10 in the morning and 6 to 9 in the evening. has its advantages.

The statistics collected from the Metro Manila Development Authority show that more than 70 percent of EDSA's vehicles have only one occupant, that is, the driver, and although it is not clear whether this will only happen during peak hours, it can stimulate of ripping parts accelerate the flow rate on the 23.8. extend miles.

MMDA started the test run of August 15 for a week without having to punish and announced that it would go for full implementation from August 23, when vehicles caught with only one occupant would be fined P1,000.

Unfortunately, a call by several senators to stop the implementation of MMDA & # 39; s HOON (High Ownership Vehicle) plan on EDSA has prompted the agency to continue the test run until Metro Manila Commission (MMC) hopefully later this month.

The MMC is composed of all 17 local chief executives of the National Capital Region, and a consensus of the authority would allow the MMDA to continue with full implementation of the HOV scheme.

Smooth operation

During the test week of a week, the traffic on EDSA was unmistakably lighter during peak hours and ran smoothly, especially as more people became aware of the schedule.

It is understandable that drivers who had to or had to use alternative roads instead of EDSA during peak hours were shocked at how the HOV scheme quickly blocked the back and side streets of Metro Manila, hence the feeling that the ban on the use of one car not worth every value.

Yet, as more vehicle owners become more accustomed to the HOV scheme, the traffic flow on EDSA could become bearable for people with more than one occupant during peak hours.

This should lead to significant savings for the commuting public in terms of time spent on the road and saved fuel. The traffic problem of Metro Manila costs the nation already P3.5 billion per day, according to a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Temporary measures

The HOV scheme should be regarded as a temporary measure, especially with more infrastructure projects arriving in Metro Manila in the coming months. Hopefully we see some quieter travel during the completion of the projects.

In the meantime, technology is increasingly playing an important role for vehicle owners, and it would be useful to benefit from this.

Waze, for example, has been able to demonstrate that there are roads in the subway that can be used during peak hours to shorten travel time, even if travel takes one or two kilometers longer. Wazers, a voluntary commuter community that marks real-time road conditions, must be commended for their zeal.

Waze is not perfect, but it is still one of the best road-use tools available today. It would be nice if it could also recognize whether a vehicle passing through EDSA during peak hours has one or more occupants and therefore gives advice on the HOV scheme, especially if it is already fully implemented.

Everyone needs cooperation

The success of the HOV scheme at this stage will require the cooperation of everyone, especially as most vehicles currently on the road are heavily colored, making it difficult for law enforcement officers and road cameras to decipher when a vehicle is or more occupants.

The MMDA is temporarily powerless over heavy shades, and is forced to simply alert vehicle owners that this could be a basis for the Land Agency to refuse registration. Another measure that the MMDA is studying is to install thermal sensors on EDSA to detect the number of occupants in a vehicle.

We all know that both measures are time-consuming and that as more people become aware of the weak points in the HOV scheme, the chance of success is smaller.

Share swimming pools

We have to learn a few things about the withdrawal of Uber in some large cities outside the Philippines. In Austin, Texas, for example, where Uber withdrew in 2016 after refusing to adhere to stricter city rules, people learn to deal with new ride-sharing initiatives.

Smaller ride-share startups have attempted to fill the void that Uber left in Austin, although not entirely successful. For example, Wingz offers pre-planned rides at the airport that fit in some way with the psyche of Austin citizens.

Arcade City, another startup, uses Facebook as a basis. It has small groups & # 39; regular customers & # 39; encouraged, consisting of drivers and passengers who eventually get to know each other better and can comfortably rely on their journeys, which they pay in the form of "agreed donations & # 39 ;.

Arcade City is now known in Austin as a black market for ride sharing & # 39 ;, but the local government has not found any legal basis to sanction or ban it.

A more structured startup is RideAustin, which has come up with a similar configuration to Uber, but is a non-profit organization. This offers rides at lower rates, but higher salaries for drivers.

In the Philippines, after Uber was merged with the Singapore-based Grab, many commuters have complained about problems with booking a ride share due to fewer available vehicles on the Grab system. Austin's experience would be well worth watching.

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