LRT-1 operator backs easing of social distancing in public transport as economy gradually reopens


Posted at Sep 14 2020 03:57 PM

Commuters wear face shields as they take the LRT-1 on August 19, 2020 amid the return of Metro Manila under general community quarantine. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The LRT-1 operator Light Rail Manila Corp said Monday it supports the government's move to reduce physical distancing in public transport at it vowed to implement strict health protocols to protect passengers.

LRMC said it has a "no face mask, no face shield" policy, temperature checks, chemical disinfections and was first to implement "no-talking and no answering phone calls" inside trains.

“Reducing the physical distance doesn’t mean we will be complacent or we will take things for granted. Rail actually offers the fastest journey, so it is still safer since there is less time for possible exposure," said LRMC president and CEO Juan Alfonso.

"The coronavirus pandemic has shown us how public transport is indeed an essential service and serves as the backbone of any nation. We support the government’s plan to reopen the economy safely and gradually. We believe in taking a wholistic approach in carrying out our next steps towards recovery," Alfonso added.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases earlier approved the gradual easing of social distancing in public transport from 1 meter to 0.75 meter, to 0.5 meter on Sept. 28 and 0.3 meter on Oct. 12 to increase capacity.