MMDA: Vehicles expected to flood EDSA as schools open

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 14) — A week before schools reopen, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said it is expecting a surge of vehicles on the road, especially along major thoroughfares like EDSA.

During a virtual press briefing on Sunday, MMDA Task force Special Operations Chief Bong Nebrija said that an average of 426,000 to 430,000 vehicles per day are expected along EDSA beginning Aug. 22.

The estimate is higher than the volume of vehicles plying EDSA during the pre-pandemic period of 2019, which averaged 405,000.

The MMDA now advises motorists to take alternate routes whenever they can.

"Ang advice namin sa mga motorista, divert away from EDSA — marami na tayong tulay. Kung matatandaan niyo nagbukas na ‘yung Santa Monica bridge that will connect Pasig to Taguig. Nagbukas na rin ang Pantaleon Kalayaan Bridge that will connect Mandaluyong to Makati, together with the Makati Mandaluyong Bridge," said Nebrija.

[Translation: We advise motorists to divert away from EDSA. Santa Monica Bridge — which connects Pasig to Taguig — is already open. Pantaleon Kalayaan Bridge connecting Mandaluyong to Makati is also open, together with the Makati Mandaluyong Bridge.]

Nebrija also said the MMDA would be augmenting the No Contact Apprehension Program for the implementation of the number coding scheme.

Most traffic enforcers will be deployed in schools to ensure a peaceful and safe reopening.

"We would be deploying 581 enforcers to 146 public schools in Metro Manila. Average is one traffic enforcer to three schools," says Nebrija.

Under the expanded number coding scheme, the MMDA clarifies that senior citizens and persons with disabilities are no longer exempted.

The only exemptions are Public Utility Vehicles, motorcycles, Transport Network Vehicle Services, garbage and fuel trucks, and vehicles delivering essential goods.