MRT-3 begins earlier bus trips after commuter woes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 8, 2020   •   278

The MRT-3 management has set an earlier schedule for their bus augmentation after commuters experienced longer queues due to MRT-3’s suspended operations.

Roma Salazar, one of the commuters, said she had to adjust her travel time by two hours earlier after the MRT-3 halted its operations due to the spike in COVID-19 cases among its employees.

“Dapat kasi ang alis ko ng bahay 6:00 a.m. Since nawalan ng byahe ang MRT, inagahan ko nang alis nang 4:00 a.m. kasi expected ko na mahaba ang pila, (I usually leave at 6:00 a.m., but since MRT is closed I left the house at 4:00 a.m. I expected the lines would be long),” she said.

From the previous 5:30 a.m. schedule for the bus trips, the MRT-3 management set it at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday (July 8). Several modified bus stops were also opened along the center island on EDSA.

The stations include: North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Main Avenue, Santolan, Ortigas, Guadalupe, Ayala, and Taft Avenue.

However, this caused confusion among several commuters. Some of them had to walk to reach the modified bus stops.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Spokesperson Asec. Goddes Hope Libiran is appealing for public commuters’ understanding, saying the new protocols cater to their safety.

“Ito naman po ay hindi naman permanente. Interim lang po ito habang nagkakaroon ng problema sa ating MRT-3. Sa lalong madaling panahon, inaayos naman natin iyan para makababa at makasakay ulit sila doon sa mga istasyon na binababaan nila dati, (This is only temporary. This is only an interim while there are issues with MRT-3. We are fixing the matter as soon as possible so commuters can board and alight at the original stations)” she said. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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

Train marshals deployed in MRT-3

Marje Pelayo   •   August 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The MRT-3 management has designated train marshals to monitor the passenger’s compliance with the health and safety protocols against the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

When on board MRT-3 trains, speaking remains prohibited. Even answering calls through any digital device is not allowed.

Passengers are not allowed to remove their face shields and face masks when inside the train.

A one-meter distance from other people must be maintained.

The train marshals are tasked to remind passengers of the health and safety protocols in place. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

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MRT-3 reschedules weekend suspension of operations

Robie de Guzman   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) on Thursday said it has rescheduled its weekend suspension of operations for rail replacement works.

In an advisory, the management of the MRT-3 said it moved the schedule to October to November “Upon the recommendation of maintenance provider Sumitomo-MHI-TESP.”

The MRT-3 rail replacement works was originally set for August to September.

The maintenance provider, meanwhile, assured that the new schedule will not affect the target date of completion for the rail replacement works and increase of train speed.

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