MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Transportation (DoTr) on Saturday said the return of train operations in Metro Manila will be gradual as the region shifts to a general community quarantine starting June 1.
Lines of the Light Rail Transit, the Metro Rail Transit, as well as the Philippine National Railways will resume operations on Monday but on limited capacity to ensure compliance with health protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.
“Ang pamamaraan namin dito ay gradual, calculated at partial. Hindi kailangang biglain at kailangang balansehin yung tinatawag na health and safety ng ating mamamayan,” DoTr Seceretary Arthur Tugade said in a virtual presser on state television.
(Our method here is gradual, calculated and partial. We can't do it abruptly and we need to balance the health and safety of our people.)
Tugade said PNR will operate at 25 to 35 percent capacity while MRT3, LRT1 and LRT2 between 12 to 14 percent.
The DOTr will, meanwhile, deploy more trains, raising the number from 14 to 19. Three Chinese-made Dalian trains will be included in the fleet, he said.
With rail replacements done, Tugade said passengers may expect trains to go faster at 45 kilometers per hour in some areas.
“Sa ganung paraan, madadagdagan 'yung byahe, madadagdagan 'yung mananakay bagamat limited capacity,” he announced.
(That way, we can have more trips, more passengers can use it despite the limited capacity.)
As for LRT1, 28 trains will operate, while LRT2 will have 5.
For PNR, 8 trains will be operational by Monday.
“Ang mga tren na gagamitin ay puro bago. Ito ang mga bagong tren na nakuha natin sa Indonesia at lahat po ito ay tatakbo at babaybay umpisa sa Lunes,” he said.
(All trains we will use are new. These are trains we acquired from Indonesia and they will all start running on Monday.)
PNR General Manager Junn Magno said the train schedule will be adjusted to accommodate more passengers despite limited operations. PNR trains will be on the tracks from 3 a.m., with the last trip at 8:20 p.m., he said.
The DoTr earlier said that public transportation will resume in 2 phases under GCQ. The first phase from June 1 to 21 would allow the operation of permitted train and bus augmentation units, taxis, ride-hailing cars, point-to-point buses, shuttle services and bicycles, but at limited capacity.
The second phase from June 22 to 30 will allow public utility buses, modern jeepneys and UV express vans.