MMDA extends "no window hours" policy for 6 months

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The "no window hours" policy will be in effect until June to further lessen traffic in major roads in the metro, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Monday.

MMDA General Manager Thomas Orbos said that since the policy was implemented in November 2016, traffic congestion has lessened. The policy was to be implemented until January 31.

"We deem it best to extend the no window coding as we have seen the gains it made last Christmas and we still need such measures since the government mass transport and other infrastructure projects that intend to reduce traffic are still ongoing," Orbos told CNN Philippines in a text message.

The MMDA may lift the "no window hours" policy earlier than June if traffic congestion lessens, Orbos added.

The policy prohibits vehicles affected by the unified vehicular volume reduction program (UVVRP) also known as the "number-coding scheme" from taking Metro Manila's main radial and circumferential roads from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The policy is expected to encourage more people to take public mass transportation, including the MRT-3 which runs along EDSA, as well as buses.

The Point-to-Point (P2P) Premium Bus Service is one of the initiatives of the MMDA, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Department of Transportation (DOTr) to decongest traffic.

Operated by Froehlich Tours, its franchise was temporarily suspended earlier this month following the expiration of its provisional authority to ply the P2P routes.

Meanwhile, the MRT-7 project, which connects Quezon City to Bulacan, is expected to be finished by 2020.