Expect longer queues at MRT-3 under the new normal
Aileen Cerrudo • May 7, 2020 • 818
The Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) has warned its passengers to expect longer queues as they prepare to resume operations under the ‘new normal’.
The management will be implementing strict physical distancing where passengers are required to wear face masks. Senior citizens, pregnant women, and passengers ages 21 and below will not be allowed inside the MRT-3.
Passenger numbers will only be limited to 153 per train and those with high temperature will also not be allowed to enter.
According to MRT-3 Director for Operations Engr. Michael Capati, queues would take longer than an hour.
“They will have to allocate more time in their travel time. Kasi alam naman nila doon sa dati nating “normal”, mahaba ang pila. Matagal silang pumipila, much more dito sa ‘new normal’, mayroon compliance doon sa social distancing, (Because in the previous “normal”, lines were already long. They used to wait in line for hours, much more here in the ‘new normal’, there is compliance to social distancing),” he said.
With this, the MRT-3 management is recommending private companies to consider flexible work schedule to avoid overcrowding, especially during rush hours.
They are also planning to add more trains which include the three Dalian trains that passed in the decommissioning. Capati said there are 15 to 16 operational MRT-3 trains.
“Talgang kailangan mag-deploy ng more trains available (There is a need to deploy more available trains),” he said.
Meanwhile, the LRT-1 and LRT-2 are also preparing to implement new protocols under the ‘new normal’. LRT-2 will limit the number of passengers to 160 per train while LRT-1 will limit the number of passengers to 158. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – The operations of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) has resumed after it was momentarily halted due to the magnitude 6.3-earthquake that struck off Calatagan, Batangas at around 7:34 a.m. Friday and felt in Metro Manila.
In an advisory, the MRT-3 management said the railway operations resumed at 8:32 a.m. but at a slower speed of 50 kilometers per hour (kph) from 60kph at the mainline after checking of tracks.
“Checking of buildings and facilities is ongoing,” the MRT-3 said.
The railway management was forced to suspend train operations for minutes earlier and advised train drivers to stop at the nearest station for precautionary measures.
Meanwhile, the management of the Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) said operations resumed around 11 a.m. after it was temporarily suspended due to the quake.
The temblor was also felt in nearby provinces, including Bulacan, Bataan, and Laguna.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said the quake was tectonic in origin and had a depth of focus of 109 kilometers.
The following intensities were recorded several areas:
Intensity IV – Lemery, and Malvar, Batangas; San Pedro, Laguna; City of Manila; Marikina City; Quezon City; Cainta and Antipolo City, Rizal; Pasig City
Intensity III – Caloocan City; Tanay, Rizal; San Jose Del Monte City, and Plaridel, Bulacan; Gapan City, Nueva Ecija; Cabangan and Iba, Zambales; Samal,
Bataan; Valenzuela City; Malabon City
Intensity II – San Isidro, Nueva Ecija; Alaminos City, Pangasinan
Instrumental Intensities were also recorded:
Intensity IV – Bacoor City; Tagaytay City; Carmona, Cavite; Plaridel, Calumpit, San Ildefonso, San Rafael, and Malolos, Bulacan; Guagua, Pampanga; Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro; Las Pinas City
Intensity III – Talisay, Batangas; San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Dagupan City; Quezon City; Pasig City; Muntinlupa City; Marikina City; Cabanatuan City
Intensity II – Roxas, Oriental Mindoro; Lucban, Quezon; Baler, Aurora; Palayan City
Intensity I – San Jose, Nueva Ecija; Gumaca, Lopez and Lucena City, Quezon
Phivolcs said there is no reported significant damage from the quake but it is expecting aftershocks.
The Metro Rail Transit 3 trains can now travel at 60 kilometers per hour after completing the rail replacements as part of the railway’s rehabilitation program.
The average travel time between stations has now been cut to 3.5 to 4 minutes from 8 to 9.5 minutes.
Travel time from North Avenue to Taft station has been cut to 50 minutes from the previous 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The rail replacements began in September and were completed ahead of the scheduled completion set in February 2021. It is a part of the MRT-3’s massive rehabilitation program, which is being implemented by its maintenance provider Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries from Japan.
MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati said they have been aiming to boost the train speed before the year ends.
“During the first week of December, we have been performing test runs to ascertain the alignment and safety of railway tracks. We are targeting to increase the train operating speed to 60kph in the entire revenue line before this year ends, when all system checks have been performed to ensure compliance to safety standards,” he said in a statement.
He also added that the boost in the train speed will be able to provide passengers a faster, safer, and more reliable public transportation. AAC
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