Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (File photo)

MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has reported a decrease in the number of vehicles traversing Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) this month, attributing it in part to the increase in pump prices.

In a Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday, MMDA chair Romando Artes said the number of vehicles that passed through Edsa on May 5 reached 417,000--above the pre-pandemic vehicular traffic of 405,000.

"Pero noong June 9 nagpabilang po ulit tayo ng sasakyan ang lumabas po sa ating bilang sa Edsa ay 392,000 (But on June 9, we had another vehicle count and it's 392,000 vehicles on Edsa)," Artes said.

He said the latest vehicular count on Edsa was taken on Sunday and only reached 390,000.

"May kabuuan na pong kabawasan na 27,000 from the time na before elections at ang tingin po namin na malaking factor dyan ay ang patuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng produktong petrolyo (There was a total deficit of 27,000 from before the elections and we think a big factor here is the continued rise in the prices of fuel)," he said.

With vehicular traffic remaining moderate, he said the current form of the unified vehicular volume reduction program (UVVRP)--also known as number coding--will not be changed.

"Sa ngayon po wala po tayong plano na magpatupad ng expanded number coding scheme dahil nakikita po namin na wala naman pong pangangailangan sa ngayon dahil po patuloy na nababawasan ang bilang ng sasakyan sa ating lansangan (For now we don't have any plans to enforce an expanded number coding scheme as it is unnecessary as the number of vehicles in our streets continues to drop)," Artes said.

If a new form of number coding will be enforced, he said it would most likely happen under the incoming administration.

E-bikes and e-scooters

With the rise in fuel prices, he said the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is pushing for the proper regulation of electric motorized vehicles such as e-bikes and e-scooters.

He said LTO regulation 2021-039 aims to regulate these vehicles based on their classification or speed--with electric vehicles capable of running up to 12.5 kilometers per hour (kph) limited to barangay roads or bike lanes while those capable of running up to 50 kph are required to be registered with the LTO and used with safety gear such as a helmet. (PNA)