The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is just on its first day of the High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Traffic Scheme (MMDA Regulation No. 18-005) dry run, and yet, it has received a considerable amount of backlash even before it has been completely implemented. Among those who were quick to react was the Senate, and it has submitted a resolution for the agency to “immediately suspend” the said traffic scheme.
Major publications, such as Inquirer.net, have reported about the resolution, and Rappler posted the actual photos of the documents dated today, August 15, 2018. It’s signed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
[UPDATE] MMDA suspends HOV Traffic Scheme until MMC votes otherwise
Here are the reasons for the said resolution:
- The Metro Manila Council (MMC) issued MMDA Regulation No. 17-400 in 2017 without public consultation and hearing. This regulation established the HOV lanes on EDSA, which is the lane closest to the MRT3.
- Following the unknown success of the HOV Lane dry run in 2017, MMDA still pushed through with Regulation 18-005, which designates all lanes of EDSA as HOV lanes.
- The HOV Traffic Scheme deprives thousands of people to use the country’s major thoroughfare.
- It is not proven, empirical or otherwise, that 70% of the vehicles on EDSA are solo-occupied.
- Experts and citizens criticized the scheme on the premise of having no alternative means of safe and reliable transportation.
- Transportation experts, including the University of the Philippines Planning and Development Research Foundation’s Primitive Cal, warned that the “band-aid” measure could even worsen traffic congestion as it encourages unauthorized “for-hire” vehicles, as seen by the recently-scrapped Indonesian version of the HOV Traffic Scheme.
- The Institute of Transportation Studies (University of California Berkeley) shows that HOV Traffic Scheme will not eliminate congestion as it is proven that it will not always be more effective than general-purpose lanes.
- HOV lanes in U.S., Canada, and Indonesia have been criticized as ineffective and counterproductive.
- HOV Traffic Schemes in other countries impose incentives instead of a total ban for solo-occupied vehicles.
- Not consulting the tax-paying public about the HOV Traffic Scheme violates the due process of laws, enshrined and protected under the Constitution: Now, therefore, be it.
The Senate urges the MMC and MMDA to conduct public consultations to further study the MMDA Regulation No. 18-005, and provide real solutions to the Metro Manila traffic congestion. The lawmakers also urged the agencies to immediately suspend the implementation.
Image Source: Rappler