LRT2 resumes partial operation for Cubao-Recto route

Marje Pelayo   •   October 8, 2019   •   179

MANILA, Philippines – The Light Rail Transit Authority has announced the resumption of partial operations of its train service from Cubao to Recto and back starting Tuesday (October 8).

In a statement, LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said they have completed the safety checks on the unaffected section of the train system.

“Thorough safety checks have been completed, and the signaling, telecommunications, power supply systems, tracks and the trains for these stations have been cleared and in normal condition. Hence, we are now ready to serve the riding public,” he said.

However, the LRTA has made adjustments to the train service schedule to give way to maintenance works.

Train operations will start late at 6:00AM from the previous 4:30AM and will close early at 8:30PM from the previous 10:30PM, according to the LRTA.

Specifically, Cubao station will be open from 6:00AM to 8:30PM while Recto Station will accept commuters from 6:00AM to 9:00PM only.

“We appeal to our passengers to allot an additional hour for their journeys since speed restrictions and a limited number of trains will be fielded to ensure passenger safety and the sufficiency of the power supply coming from the remaining rectifier substations,” Berroya stressed.

To serve the affected passengers, point-to-point buses (P2P) will be fielded at Masinag, Emerald and Santolan stations to and from Legarda starting Tuesday.

Likewise, 40 modernized public utility vehicles (PUVs) will be stationed to ferry passengers taking Santolan-Legarda route.

Meanwhile, a bus service loop will also be available at Santolan, Katipunan, Anonas and Cubao.

These PUVs and buses will operate from 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM daily.

Fare rate will be P15 from Santolan to Cubao and P25 from Masinag to Legarda.

Meanwhile, free rides from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will be available daily from 7:00AM to 7:00PM from Santolan to Cubao and back.

As of press time, tracks that connect Santolan, Katipunan and Anonas stations remain closed as the power supply and signaling systems in the said three stations are still down.

LRT-2 normal operations may resume in 2 to 3 months — LRTA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) is eyeing to restore LRT-2 normal operations within two to three months instead of the initial estimate of nine months.

LRTA Spokesperson Hernando Cabrera on Monday said they are looking at the possibility of conducting a component-by-component replacement instead of a full unit replacement to be able to bring down the repair time table to just a few months.

The LRTA earlier said operations in Santolan, Katipunan and Anonas stations will be suspended for a maximum of nine months as the replacement of the damaged rectifier substations “necessitates a highly-technical intervention.”

READ: 3 LRT-2 stations to be closed in next 9 months; limited ops to resume next week

“Nandiyan na ‘yung big possibility na ang gagawin natin is component-by-component yung ating replacement, kapag component level yung ating repair, restoration tsaka replacement mas iiksi yung timeline na nakikita natin,” Cabrera said.

The LRT-2 last week resumed partial operations between Recto and Cubao stations after power rectifiers between Anonas and Katipunan stations tripped and caught fire last Oct. 3.

Based on LRTA’s monitoring, LRT-2’s limited operations after the fire broke out have cost nearly 50 percent of the railways total number of daily passengers.

From more than 240,000 daily passengers, the number of passengers it ferries along five cities in Metro Manila is now down to over 100,000.

On Monday, LRT-2 operations opened at 5 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. with trains running at a speed of 40 to 60 kilometers per hour with a 10-minute interval.

However, it will only operate until 8:30 p.m. in Cubao station, while 9 p.m. in Recto station.   

“Ang nangyari dito kailangang gamayin nung ating mga personnel yung ating mga train operator yung nasa control center, so lahat dito kailangan natin istabilized,” Cabrera said.

“So, nung nagamay na nila for one week yung abnormal situation then yung after safety personnel nakapag issue na ng clearance sige pwede niyo ng agahan ng konti yung ating biyahe,” Cabrera said.

The LRT-2 has also resumed its free rides for students from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The LRTA said it is eyeing to add another train to the current five sets deployed in the line. – RRD (With details from correspondent Joan Nano)

Mayor Isko lifts closure order against Isetann mall

Marje Pelayo   •   October 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Isetann Mall in Recto gets back to business on Friday (October 11) after the Manila City government lifted the closure order it issued against the mall for violation of various city’s ordinances.

In a statement, the city government said Mayor Isko Domagoso approved the recommendation of Bureau of Permits chief Levi Facundo to lift the closure order after the mall secured the appropriate permits needed to operate.

“Upon coordination with this Office and submission of requirements, this is to confirm that you have substantially complied with the deficiencies/ violations noted in the Closure Order in relation to the operation of your business,” the lift order read.

“In view thereof, the Closure Order dated 9 October 2019 is hereby lifted,” it said.

Isetann Mall was ordered closed following reports of various violations of city ordinances and misrepresentations in permit applications.

While the city government allowed the mall to resume operations, it warned Isetann Mall that “any future similar violation or any other violation of the terms and conditions of the business permit may constrain this Office to take similar action or may lead to the revocation of your permit.”

Aside from documentation requirements, the mall management also settled of its tax deficiencies worth P2 million under the city government’s tax amnesty program.

For its part, the mall management vowed to strictly implement the anti-fencing law that criminalizes the act of buying and/or selling stolen items in all of its establishments inside the mall.

“In keeping with the instructions of the City Mayor, the sale of secondhand phones will no longer be allowed here at the Isetann Cinerama Complex,” the mall said in a letter to the Mayor as cited by the Manila Public Information Office.

LRT-2 to possibly add trips, revert to usual operating hours soon

Maris Federez   •   October 10, 2019

The Light Rail Transit Authority is mulling over making additional train trips in LRT-2 line.

From the five trains currently making trips from Cubao to Recto, the LRT-2 is thinking of adding one more train in its operation.

The LRT-2 is also planning to revert to its usual operating hours.

At present, the LRT-2 starts its operation at 6:00 in the morning to give way to longer maintenance of its trains, tracks, signaling system and power supply.

“Kumbaga pina-familiarize muna yung sarili namin, kapag gamay na namin then we will look into one, magdagdag ng isa pang tren and then magbukas na tayo ng mas maaga which is 5am,” said LRTA Spokesperson Atty. Hernando Cabrera.

Atty. Cabrera earlier said that they need to limit the trains in operation to prevent encountering problems in its power supply that might result in another glitch in the system.

Meanwhile, Atty. Cabrera explained that while there is no problem in LRT-2 Anonas Station, it’s operation remains suspended as there is still no power supply from the depot in Santolan Station.

“Ang problema natin sa Anonas sa ngayon, ginagamit natin yan na paradahan at tsaka emergency area just in case may masira na tren. Kasi nga kapag may nasirang tren while nag-ooperate tayo di pwedeng nakabara lang dun sa linya titigil ang buong operasyon nun,” Cabrera added.

The LRTA earlier showed to the media the picture of the burnt power rectifier that supplies electricity to the lines of LRT-2.

Atty. Cabrera clarified that three rectifiers got burned and not just two.

In the emergency meeting of the House Committee on Transportation on Wednesday (October 9), the LRTA admitted that the power rectifiers were hit by lightning which caused its explosion.  

Meanwhile, LRTA said that contrary to earlier reports, the LRT-2 full operations may take place sooner than the projected 9-month period.

“Lilinawin ko yung 9 months kasi ang basis noon if bibili tayo ng buong component. But with this current situation ngayon na nabuksan na natin, makikita natin ngayon kung pwedeng huwag na tayong bumili ng buo kundi magrerepair tayo component by component na lang. Mas malaki yung chances mas mabilis hindi na aabutin definitely ng 9 months,” Cabrera said. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

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