MMDA’s Road Restriction on Electric Vehicles Sparks Controversy

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recently implemented a road restriction on various electric vehicles, causing a significant uproar among active transport advocates in Metro Manila. While the MMDA’s Memorandum Circular imposes restrictions on vehicles such as e-bicycles, e-tricycles, electric kickscooters, electric scooters, electric unicycles, tricycles, pushcarts, pedicabs, and kuligligs on national roads in designated areas, it does allow these vehicles to operate on major roads within the established bike lanes.

However, critics argue that the limited and sporadic availability of bike lanes in Metro Manila puts electric vehicle users at risk of unintentionally violating the restrictions. Robert Siy Jr. of the Move As One Coalition draws attention to the abrupt endings of bike lanes, which could potentially lead to encounters with MMDA enforcers. Siy advocates for the development of a comprehensive network of bike lanes as opposed to focusing solely on restrictions, with the aim of ensuring the safety and convenience of electric vehicle users.

Ira Cruz from AltMobilityPH shares these concerns and asserts that the MMDA’s restriction fails to address the fundamental needs of ordinary Filipinos for accessible mobility. Cruz argues that the growing popularity of e-trikes is a direct consequence of the government’s inability to provide viable transportation solutions.

The road restriction issue arrives at a time when Metro Manila residents are already confronted with transportation challenges. The recent closure of the Philippine National Railways, coupled with the potential loss of vital jeepney routes due to franchise consolidation, exacerbates the situation further.

The dissatisfaction expressed by active transport advocates serves as a clear indication that the MMDA’s road restriction has left many dissatisfied. It underscores the need for comprehensive and thoughtful planning when implementing policies that impact the daily lives of commuters and motorists in Metro Manila.

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