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Railway lines in Metro Manila will either have scaled-down or suspended operations starting the week of April 5 due to the continuation of COVID-19 mass testing involving train personnel.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Sunday, April 4, that its railways sector will have limited operations beginning Monday, April 5.
The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) will be operating with only 10 to 12 trains.
“The trains will be operating with a limited capacity of 372 passengers per train set or 124 passengers per car to comply with the pre-determined number of passengers per station,” said the MRT3 management.
Affected commuters may also take the buses running on the EDSA Carousel route.
Last Monday, March 29, the MRT3 said 12 of its tellers and a cash assistant tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT1) will be dispatching only 17 trains. Affected commuters may be served by buses running on route 17 (Monumento-EDSA).
The LRT2 will only have 5 trains dispatched. Passengers may be accommodated by bus routes 9 and 10.
As for the Philippine National Railways (PNR), it will suspend operations until Thursday, April 8.
When it resumes serving passengers on Friday, April 9, the PNR will have 10 to 12 trains dispatched, more than its pre-lockdown operations of 6 to 10 trains.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered rail sector personnel who are active COVID-19 cases as well as those who are still waiting for test results to stay in isolation. They will not be allowed to enter trains or rail facilities.
Their close contacts who were identified through contact tracing and others exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are also barred from entering rail facilities.
The DOTr will continue enforcing health protocols in these train lines.
In order to aid affected passengers, the DOTr’s road sector will “continue to deploy additional PUVs (public utility vehicles) to ferry commuters to their destination,” said the department.
It added that the free rides for medical frontliners and authorized persons outside residence or APORs on jeepney routes under the government’s service contracting program will continue.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite remain under enhanced community quarantine until April 11. – Rappler.com