DOTr schedules more trains to serve the public starting June 1
During President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People Address on May 28, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said that train and rail operations for the LRT-1, LRT-2, MRT-3, and PNR will resume today, in line with the National Capital Region’s shift from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ).
Tugade had another good news, as the MRT-3 line will see its train numbers increase from 15 before ECQ to 19 train sets—including three Dalian trains—operating on a daily basis.
“Ang gagamitin na tren sa Lunes ay hindi na 14 o 15. Ang gagamitin ay 19 na tren,” Tugade declared.
However, Tugade emphasized that the trains will operate under limited capacity and will observe implementation of COVID-19 sanitation and social distancing protocols.
“Sa ganitong pamamaraan, madadagdagan ang biyahe at madadagdagan ang mga mananakay bagamat limited capacity,” he added.
In addition, travel speed will be boosted from the pre-ECQ operating speed of 30 kph to 40 kph in certain sections of the MRT, particularly the tracks between North Avenue and Santolan Stations as well those between Buendia and Taft Stations.
Such move, the DOTr said, is targeted to cut the time between trains by more or less 3.5 minutes, from an average of over 9 minutes pre-ECQ to an average of less than 6 minutes upon resumption of operations.
These new benefits were made possible by the work done during the two-and-a-half months of lockdown. With train operations suspended, the DOTr was able to able to advance its rail replacement works ahead of schedule, according to Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan.
“Rail replacement works are expected to be completed by September 2020, several months ahead of its February 2021 target completion date,” Batan reported.
“Following completion of rail replacement works, train operating speed will gradually increase from 40 kph to 60 kph by December 2020, leading to a reduction of headway, or the time between trains, down to 3.5 minutes,” Batan said.
Tugade said that the LRT and MRT lines will only carry 10 to 12 percent of their standard passenger capacity, while PNR trains will run on 35 percent capacity.
Markers have been placed inside the 19 train sets to urge commuters to comply with social distancing regulations by the government.
Photos from the Department of Transportation Facebook Page