MANILA—The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority's (MMDA) plan to disallow single-occupancy vehicles from plying EDSA during rush hour could give rise to "passengers-for-hire" that risks public safety, Senator Leila de Lima said Saturday.
The new MMDA policy seeks to encourage carpooling to reduce the volume of vehicles on the major thoroughfare notorious for rush hour traffic jams as data showed that "70 percent of vehicles along EDSA carry only the driver."
"While car pooling may be commendable, this plan prohibiting driver-only vehicles along EDSA could give rise to paid car jockeys who are more than willing to risk their own safety by getting into the cars of strangers just to earn money," De Lima, who chairs the Senate's social justice, welfare and rural development committee, said in a statement.
De Lima said Indonesia tried to implement a similar scheme to solve urban traffic, but the "peak-time rule of three people to one car" proved to be ineffective.
The senator said the MMDA must also stop its "habit of experimenting on how to ease out traffic congestion during rush hours."
"It cannot always try its luck through a trial and error in resolving the perennial traffic problem," she said.
The new MMDA policy also drew flak as motorists described the rule as "ridiculous."