MRT-3 to operate at reduced capacity as COVID-19 cases in depot rise to 127
Maris Federez • July 2, 2020 • 828
MANILA, Philippines — The MRT management will limit the number of trains in operation starting July 6.
This after a number of its personnel tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), bringing the total of positive cases to 127, a Department of Transportation (DOTr) advisory said.
Initial report said the 127 cases consist of 124 Sumitomo Depot personnel and 3 MRT-3 Depot personnel who will be placed under mandatory quarantine and medication.
DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said that with the guidance of the IATF-EID and upon the advice of Sumitomo-MHI, MRT-3 will be able to continue operations, with the possibility of reducing capacity or with fewer trains.
“Sumitomo requested to discuss on a day-by-day basis the level of operations that they can sustain as results of the mass swab testing continue to be released. In the meantime, Sumitomo advised that they are able to continue with operations to service MRT-3’s tens of thousands of passengers, although at a reduced level,” said Usec Batan.
“While we try to do our best to keep the same maintenance performance through this week, we would like to discuss with DOTr MRT3 office day by day, how much maintenance level we would be able to keep, in view of the number of COVID-19 infected people,” said Masanori Honda of Sumitomo.
The advisory also said that “to augment MRT-3’s further reduced capacity due to the quarantine of some of its depot personnel, DOTr will be boosting its Bus Augmentation Program and EDSA Busway service, in coordination with the DOTr Road Sector, LTFRB, and MMDA.”
“Per guidance of the IATF-EID, additional measures and precautions will be taken during MRT-3’s reduced operations, including requiring full PPE for stations and depot personnel, limiting movement of depot personnel to their immediate areas of responsibility, increased disinfection activities, and heightened monitoring and screening of symptoms among all personnel,” the advisory further read.
Meanwhile, MRT reminds the public that it will suspend operation on July 4 and 5 to give way to their rail replacement activities. —(with details from Joan Nano) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will push through with its plan to close the EDSA U-turn slot at General Malvar in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City on Monday (January 11).
“The U-turn slot located along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue in General Malvar / Bagong Barrio area shall be closed to vehicular traffic effective January 11, Monday, in line with the Department of Transportation’s EDSA Busway project,” the MMDA said in an advisory released last Friday.
With the closure of the said U-turn slot, motorists from northbound going southbound are advised to take the Monumento Circle or those coming from Quezon City may also take Balintawak Cloverleaf.
Since September 2020, the MMDA has so far closed six U-turn slots to give way to the government’s Busway Project.
For this project, the innermost lane of EDSA was designated as an exclusive lane for public utility buses (PUBs) traveling from Monumento, Caloocan City to SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, and vice versa. —/mbmf
MANILA, Philippines — Former Mandaluyong City mayor Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. has been named as the new chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), replacing former chair Danilo Lim who passed away last week.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go made the confirmation on the change in the MMDA leadership in a text message to the press on Sunday (January 10).
Go added that Abalos is expected to take his oath of office on Monday.
Malacañang has yet to make an official confirmation of Abalos’ appointment.
Abalos served as the mayor of Mandaluyong City from 1998 to 2004, and from 2007 to 2016. He also served as representative of Mandaluyong City from 2004 to 2007.
The former Mandaluyong Mayor’s father, Benjamin Sr., also served as MMDA chairman from 2001 to 2002.
The MMDA is mandated to plan, monitor, coordinate, and regulate the delivery of services in Metro Manila. —/mbmf
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