Metro Manila · EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue)

EDSA near Pasig River "/var/ezdemo_site/storage/images/media/manila/images-manila/local-life/edsa-near-pasig-river/473456-2-eng-GB/EDSA-near-Pasig-River_zoom_image.jpg" 2000 1008 EDSA near Pasig River

In a 23.8 kilometer-long semicircle, EDSA leads through some of the most densely populated parts of Metro Manila, from Caloocan City in the north to Pasay City, near Manila Bay in the south. It further connects (from north to south) the cities of Quezon, Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Makati. Many major HotSpots, malls, and business districts are located along the way.

Name and history

It is enough to remember the acronym EDSA, as even many ManileƱos do not know the whole name. The construction of the road now called Epifanio de los Santos Avenue was completed in 1940. It was renamed several times until in 1959 it received its current name, in honor of a Philippine historian.The acronym EDSA became common after the 1986 EDSA Revolution, or People Power Revolution, when two million people successfully protested on this road for the end of the Marcos rule.

Along the road

EDSA passes by the central business districts of Ortigas and Makati and is connected with many other arterial and outward roads, including MacArthur Highway, NLEx, Gil Puyat and Ayala Avenue, SLEx, and Roxas Boulevard.

Dozens of big shopping malls have been built right beside EDSA, including SM North, Trinoma, Megamall, Shangri-La Mall, Robinsons Galleria, and SM Makati. In Pasay, the avenue ends just in front of Mall of Asia. EDSA also provides access to nearby Greenhills, Rockwell, Fort Bonifacio, Araneta Coliseum, and the airport

Traffic situation

Giving access to all these HotSpots and business districts, it comes with no surprise that EDSA is particularly notorious for its bad traffic situation. A number coding scheme to reduce private cars did not help for long. To improve the traffic situation, armed police officers are often regulating traffic at bus stops, and provincial busses are banned from EDSA during the morning rush hour. 

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority monitors the street and warns of traffic jams, but commuters hardly have an alternative to taking EDSA. Rush hour on EDSA stretches at least from 7am to 10am and from 5pm to 9pm, often longer.

About four lanes run in each direction, depending on the stretch of the road. There are jeepney and bus stops all along the way, including some big terminals for provincial buses. Tricycles are not allowed. On a long stretch between Trinoma and Taft Avenue, the MRT train runs in the middle of EDSA or on concrete pillars above the road.

In early 2016, seperators were installed between the two outer lanes for buses and the inner lanes for private vehicles, making the commute slightly faster for those who use public transport.