Odd-Even, Daylight Savings Time: MMDA Proposes Traffic Remedies

The MMDA on Tuesday proposed to President Rodrigo Duterte the revival of the odd-even traffic scheme and daylight savings time to ease gridlocks caused by a wave of workers returning to their offices.

This was among suggestions raised during the MMDA's recent traffic summit, that was held in anticipation of gridlocks from on-site work and the 300,000 cars sold in 2021 that are expected to ply the roads, MMDA chairman Romando Artes told President Rodrigo Duterte

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Duterteasked government agencies to review the MMDA's proposals. These include:

Odd-even scheme

Projected to reduce traffic volume by 50%, this will mean cars will be covered by the number coding twice a week.

Cars with plates ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 will be covered by number coding scheme every Monday and Thursday. Wednesday will be a no-coding day. Cars with plates ending in 2, 4, 6, 8, and 0 will be on number coding every Tuesday and Friday, said Artes.

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Should this be approved, it will be implemented during rush hours only from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Modified number coding

Expected to slash traffic volume by 40%, this scheme also eyes to restrict cars from main thoroughfares twice a week, said Artes.

It will follow this pattern:

Monday - for plate numbers ending in 1, 2, 3, and 4
Tuesday - for plate numbers ending in 5, 6, 7, and 8
Wednesday - for plate numbers ending in 9, 0, 1, and 2
Thursday - for plate numbers ending in 3, 4, 5, and 6
Friday - for plates numbers ending in 7, 8, 9, and 0

Should this be approved, it will be implemented during rush hours only from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Number coding status quo

It is also an option to retain the current number coding scheme, where plates ending in 1 and 2 barred from the roads every Monday; 3 and 4 every Tuesday; 5 and 6 every Wednesday; 7 and 8 every Thursday; and 9 and 0 every Friday, said Artes. However, this only reduces traffic to 20%, he said.

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Daylight savings time

Patterned after the U.S. daylight saving time, Artes said the proposed daylight saving time in Metro Manila is for government offices to start work hours at 7 a.m. so employees can go home by 4 p.m.

"Para naman po makauwi nang mas maaga ‘yung ating mga empleyado at hindi na po sila mapasabay sa rush hour," Artes told Duterte. He said he would consult with the Civil Service Commission regarding the proposal.

Four-day workweek

The first suggestion is for employees to work 10 hours a day, four days a week. "Ang pag-uusapan lang po dito ay kung magbabayad ng overtime in excess of eight hours because of the Labor Code," he said. The second is working on-site for four eight-hour days, with one day for work from home.

Elevated walkways, bicycle lanes

Providing safe walkways and bicycle lanes for commuters will encourage them to travel on foot or take their bikes instead, which could help reduce vehicular traffic, said Artes.

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