Netizens complain about first day of driver-only ban in EDSA

EDSA traffic. (Photo: ABS-CBN News.)
EDSA traffic. (Photo: ABS-CBN News.)

Today, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the agency in charge of Manila’s traffic launched the dry run for its controversial driver-only ban in the metro’s main thoroughfare EDSA. While the scheme is meant to lessen traffic in the often congested highway, motorists were not pleased, to say the least.

In fact, EDSA is currently the number one trending topic on Philippine Twitter, with many netizens and public figures letting out their frustrations.

Musician and activist Jim Paredes said: “I need to go through EDSA. Anybody free to come with me? Or where can I buy a mannequin?”

He then followed this up with another joke, saying that he would start an “EDSA Buddy” business.

“Make sure to state your political leanings so there will be no arguments,” he said.

Musician and blogger Saab Magalona was also critical of the traffic rule and called it “elitist.”

“You know who won’t be affected by this? Politicians with several cars and drivers. Are you a parent who drives your kids to school bec they might die if they take our shitty public transit? SORRY, YOU CAN’T TAKE EDSA AFTER YOU DROP THEM OFF!!! HAHHA!!!” she wrote.

Netizens also ranted on social media.

While traffic may have improved on EDSA, some motorists noted that it was not the case in the highway C-5, which was already packed at around 6am, probably because many chose to pass there instead.

Twitter user @DyMelvin said that his trip was extra long today because of the dry run.

“Left [C]ainta at 6. Got to Makati at 9:15. Could have been here before 8 if I was allowed to use Edsa,” he said.

Apart from driver-only private cars, provincial buses were also banned in parts of EDSA. And @kei_c08 said this caused for her commuting fare to go higher.

“hay @MMDA banning provincial buses on edsa only added travel time for us commuters even transpo fare increases,” she said in Filipino and English.

Still, others were more chill and humorous about the struggle.

“They say those [driving] alone in EDSA are banned, is this allowed?” @madamaroan said tweeted with a photo of a dog.

@jeffgutierrez_1 joked about how people who aren’t in relationships lost their “rights.”

“You’re already single and they go and take away your rights..your only source of stress and problems is EDSA..and then ban it? Where’s the justice?” he joked.

The driver-only ban was proposed by the MMDA last year to decrease congestion in the highway. Under it, private vehicles with only the driver inside are banned from passing EDSA during rush hours or from 7 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 9 p.m.

Drivers who violate the ban will not be flagged down during the trial period but authorities have started to take down plate numbers of erring drivers. The trial run will last for a week.

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