LRT-1 Roosevelt Station to temporarily close for Common Station construction

Robie de Guzman   •   August 6, 2020   •   556

MANILA, Philippines – The Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) on Thursday announced the temporary closure of the Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT-1) Roosevelt Station to give way to the government’s construction of the Common Station project.

In an advisory, the LRMC said the LRT-1 Roosevelt Station will be closed beginning September 5 until December 28, 2020.

The Common Station, also known as the Unified Grand Central Station, is a project that will connect the systems of LRT-1, Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3), and MRT-7.

It is one of the big-ticket projects of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to enable passengers to seamlessly transfer from one rail line to another.

During the station’s closure, the last stop of LRT-1 will be Balintawak station northbound.

The LRMC said it previously planned to provide a Roosevelt shuttle train for passengers but it will no longer be pursued due to existing circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

It added that is coordinating with the DOTr and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority for the Bus Augmentation Project to support commuters from the Roosevelt area.

“The rest of our stations from Baclaran to Balintawak will be operational and we will continue to serve our LRT-1 passengers. We assure the public that this will only be temporary and the construction of the Common Station, in the long run, will give passengers a more comfortable and reliable commuting experience,” LRMC Chief Operating Officer Enrico Benipayo said.

The public is advised to monitor the agency’s official social media accounts for passenger advisories, any change in schedule, and plan trips ahead during this period.

DOTr reduces physical distancing markers in public transport

Maris Federez   •   September 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation has allowed the public transport system in the country to implement a “reduced physical distancing” policy starting Monday, September 14.

From the previous one-meter physical distancing marker between passengers, it is now at .75-meter safe distance.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the reduced physical distancing to provide service to the increasing number of passengers brought about by the reopening of more businesses.

“Ang basehan nila dito sa mga numero na binigay nila ay yung mga pag-aaral na ginawa nila sa sarili at pati narin pag-aaral na ginawa ng medical experts natin. Nakita namin na pwede naman talagang liitan yung pagitan ng mga pasahero basta nandun pa rin ang health protocols,” said DOTr Usec. Artemio Tuazon.

Effective Monday, the LRT-1 will accommodate 204 passengers from the previous 155; while the LRT-2 will accept 212 passengers from the previous 160-capacity.

The MRT-3, in the meantime, said that from 153 passengers, it will now accommodate 204 passengers per trip.

The Philippine National Railways, on the other hand, said it will increase the passenger capacity of their trains to 184 from the previous 166.

The DOTr also announced that standing will now be allowed inside modern jeepneys and passenger buses, increasing their capacity by up to three additional passengers. This increased passenger capacity is also applied in traditional jeepneys and UV express units.

Passenger ships are also allowed to increase their capacity to up to 75 percent from the earlier 50%.

Airline companies, in the meantime, will not be changing their policies on physical distancing as they are using heap filters in the aircraft ventilations ensuring a lower chance of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission.

“Sa loob naman ng eroplano dahil sa kanyang filter system halos kapareho, kalebel sya ng operation ng humidifier where every 3 minutes nagpapalit sya ng air condition at very little or hardly were it says na merong nagkaroon ng transmission sa loob ng eroplano,” said CAAP Director-General Capt. Jim Syndiongco.

In the next two weeks, the DOTr will once again reduce the physical distancing to .50 meters, and subsequently, will further reduced to .30 meters.

The department, however, ensured that with the implementation of the reduced physical distancing protocol, the minimum health standards will still prevail.

On the other hand, in the event that COVID-19 cases will once again increase, the physical distancing in the public transport system will be reverted one meter. —(with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf

Retrenchment of some 100 LRT-1 employees deferred

Marje Pelayo   •   August 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Light Rail Management Co. (LRMC) puts on hold previously announced laying off of LRT-1 employees. 

In a statement, the LRMC explained that the move will allow the company to recalibrate strategies and continue supporting team members and government partners.

For now, the LRMC is coordinating with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) regarding its recovery plans to further strengthen its operations following the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The mass lay-off LRMC previously announced was prompted by the 90 percent drop in ridership and projects that were put on hold because of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the LRMC has set a mass swab testing for its employees from August 14 to 19 in compliance with the order of the DOTr. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

Rail sector promotes use of bicycles, installs free-to-use racks at train stations

Marje Pelayo   •   July 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Community quarantine restrictions have limited the mode of transport in the country especially in Metro Manila.

For this reason, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) through its rail sector, has started installing bicycle racks at LRT-1, LRT-2, MRT-3 and Philippine National Railway (PNR) stations to promote the use of bicycles. 

Aside from convenience, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade supports the benefit of bicycle rides to commuters and the environment. 

“I fully support the establishment of the bike lanes as this active transport mode promotes a healthy lifestyle and clean environment. We will make this protected to ensure the safety of our cyclists,” Tugade stressed.

For safety and order, cyclists are reminded of the following rules:

  • Bike racks may be used free of charge.
  • Cyclists should bring their own personal padlocks.
  • Bicycle racks may be used from 5:00AM to 8:00PM only. 
    • LRT-2 – Parked bicycles beyond 8:00PM may still be claimed until the close of operations at 10:00PM.
    • PNR – Claiming of bikes is within operating hours.
  • No personal belongings such as bags or carry-ons should be left with the bicycle while parked at the rack.

Bicycle racks already in operation may be found in the following stations:

LRT-1 line

  • Central
  • Libertad Stations
  • EDSA Taft 

LRT-2 line

  • Legarda station 

MRT-3 line

  • North Avenue
  • Quezon Avenue
  • GMA Kamuning

The DOTr said cyclists are allowed to bring their folded bicycles inside the train car with a fare from origin to destination equivalent to one person, and subject to disinfection.

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