Probe ordered on LRT-2 train crash

Marje Pelayo   •   May 20, 2019   •   2272

Damage from the LRT-2 collision | Photo by Ahya Lopez

MANILA, Philippines – The management of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has ordered the creation of a fact-finding committee that will investigate the train crash incident on Saturday (May 18).

More than 30 people were injured on Saturday evening after a train parked on the “pocket track” near Anonas Station moved on its own and headed toward the main railways eastbound to Cubao.

The train’s control center noticed the movement of the parked train and immediately notified the approaching train but it was too late for the latter to make a full stop.

Damage from the LRT-2 collision | Courtesy : LRT2 Facebook page

“For unknown reason, which is still the subject of further investigation through a fact-finding which is being instructed by the administrator, gumalaw ang supposedly na sira na tren,” said DOTr’s Undersecretary for Finance Garry de Guzman.

Operations in LRT Line 2 was temporarily suspended for safety check.

It was mid afternoon the next day, Sunday (May 19) when the LRT-2 services resumed.

The LRTA management and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) assured the public that what happened was an isolated case while measures were being set up to prevent a repeat of the incident in the future.

“Kung mababawasan ang mga tumatakbong LRT (trains), natural may epekto iyan,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade noted.

(If running trains will be reduced, that surely has an effect.)

“Pero sa ganyang management, titingnan lahat iyan para nang sa ganoon, ang epekto sa operasyon ay hindi unnecessarily wide and deep,” he added.

(With that kind of management, everything will be assessed so that the effects on the operation will not be unnecessarily wide and deep.)

LRTA is expected to issue an official statement on the exact cause of the incident after its investigation. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DOTr unveils first batch of new trains for LRT-1 Cavite extension project

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has unveiled the first batch of new trains that will be deployed for the Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension project.

The four new train cars, which were ordered from Spain and Mexico, were presented on Tuesday, January 26.

These are part of the 120 train cars that will form 30 four-car trains that can accommodate up to 750,000 passengers daily. The LRT-1 currently serves 500,000 commuters daily.

“This fourth generation of Light Rail Vehicles will more than doubled the number of operations LRVS of LRT from 86 LRVs IN 2016 up to 192 LRVs by 2022,” Transportation Undersecretary Timothy John Batan said.

The DOTr said the new train cars feature more allotment areas for passengers and better cooling fans that will help lengthen the service life of the cooling system.

Once the delivery of new trains is complete, the LRT-1 will have 48 train sets from the current 34 train sets.

According to Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), which operates the LRT-1, the construction of the Cavite extension project is now 50% percent complete.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade is eyeing partial operability of the LRT-1 extension project by the fourth quarter of this year.

“I asked the rail sector and I asked the LRTA and the LRMC to make sure that partially operability of this project can materialize by December of this year. I don’t mind hitting 1 or 2 stations but scot to be partially operational,” Tugade said.

The LRT-1 Cavite extension project will stretch across Baclaran to Niog in Bacoor, Cavite. Upon completion, travel time from Manila to Cavite will be trimmed down to just 25 minutes, from the current 1 hour and 10 minutes.

The project was funded through a loan extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

DOTr eyes partial operations of Cebu bus rapid transit this year

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is eyeing to partially open Cebu’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system within this year.

In a statement on Monday, the DOTr said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered “round-the-clock” construction work to achieve the targeted partial operability of the Package 1 of the Cebu BRT project this year.

Package 1 covers the 2.6-kilometer busway with four stations, urban realm enhancement, and vital intersection improvements.

“Currently, Package 1 is already at the procurement stage,” the DOTr said.

The department said Tugade wants the procurement process fast tracked and to ensure that the project’s work schedule and timeline of completion will be aligned with the election ban next year.

Once completed, the 13.2-kilometer bus rapid transit lane will traverse the South Road Properties (SRP) through Mambaling, up to IT Park, with 17 stations, two terminals, and one depot.

When finished, the Cebu BRT is seen to serve around 60,000 passengers daily.

Tugade said the realization of the Cebu BRT will “improve passenger mobility along the project’s corridors.”

“It will also provide an option that is swift, comfortable, cost-effective, efficient, and will generate fewer emissions that reduce both local and global pollution,” he added.

Bicol International Airport construction progress rate now at 72.2% — DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The construction of the Bicol International Airport (BIA) project is moving at a fast pace, logging an overall progress rate of 72.2 percent, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Wednesday.

The actual construction of the airport started in December 2016.

It is comprised of Packages 2A and 2B. The DOTr said that as of January 13, 2021, the package 2A of the BIA Development project is now 88.2 percent complete.

Construction work in Package 2A is being handled by the Sunwest Construction and Development Corp. and covers the airport’s landside facilities, such as the Administration Building, Air Traffic Control Building, Crash Fire Rescue Building, and the Maintenance Building.

Package 2B of the airport project, meanwhile, is now 49.5 percent complete. Package 2B which is being handled by the E.M. Cuerpo construction company, covers the construction of the passenger terminal building (PTB), taxiway, runway extension, and other site development works.

Once completed, the Bicol International Airport, which features the iconic Mayon Volcano as its magnificent backdrop, is expected to serve a total of 2 million airline passengers every year.

The new international airport is also projected to boost air traffic in the region amid the existing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The BIA initially started construction in 2008. However, development works were uncompleted until 2012.

“When the Duterte administration came in 2016, the airport’s Package 2A and 2B projects were continued,” the DOTr said in a statement.

An important component of the Duterte Administration’s “Build, Build, Build” Program, the BIA also intends to be an instrumental in the transformation of Albay Province, and the rest of the Bicol Region, into a strong economic contender.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade stressed the importance of having continuous transport infrastructure developments such as the BIA, which will prove vital as the country starts recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

“It can’t be denied that the aviation sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. That’s why it is important that we finish the airport at the soonest possible time, as this will absolutely give the economy a boost,” Tugade said.

“Gusto ko matapos ‘yan within the year dahil gusto na natin itong agad na mapakinabangan ng ating mga kababayan. As we ready for take-off, kung baga, dapat all systems go,” he added.

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