The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Thursday the number coding scheme remains suspended despite worsening traffic jams on EDSA.
About 20,000 cars that used the Skyway Stage 3 when it was still toll-free shifted to EDSA this week, resulting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, MMDA Chairman Benjamin Abalos said.
"Mabilis pa rin ang takbo kung ikukumpara mo sa pre-pandemic despite the fact that marami pa rin po ang mga sasakyan," Abalos said.
On July 1, the MMDA said 399,000 cars travelled along EDSA, two weeks before the Skyway Stage 3 started toll collection. It is near the average 405,000 cars before the pandemic happened, he said.
He cited improved travel speed despite an increased volume of vehicles along EDSA, with cars in the southbound lane moving quicker at 27 kilometers per hour, 16 km faster compared to pre-pandemic traffic. Car moved faster in the northbound lane by 3 km compared to 2019 traffic, he said.
Abalos attributed the improved traffic flow to these factors: opening of u-turn slots along EDSA, new road infrastructure, dedicated EDSA bus lanes and Mabuhay lanes as alternate routes.
Abalos said Metro Manila is under general community quarantine (GCQ), meaning public transport is limited to 50% passenger capacity. It's safer to ride your own vehicle, which is "your own personal bubble" against COVID-19.
He said there might not be enough public utility vehicles for commuters, which might result in longer queues and exposure to other people.
"Baka hindi po kayanin ng ating public utility vehicles at magiging sanhi pa po ng pagkakahawahan ng sakit."