LRT-2 extension to Antipolo enters final phase

Robie de Guzman   •   April 16, 2019   •   4361

LRT-2 East Extension Project is set to connect eastern side with greater part of Metro Manila. The project is expected to be completed by 2020. (Courtesy of Department of Transportation Facebook Page)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) held the ceremonial track laying and installation of electro-mechanical system (EMS) at the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) Emerald Station in Marikina City on Tuesday (April 16).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda led the ceremony.

The track works and integration of the EMS into the existing system signal that the project has entered the final phase.

Once completed, Tugade said, it will significantly reduce travel time from Recto in Manila to Masinag in Antipolo, Rizal to just 40 minutes from three hours via bus or jeepney.

“Imagine a situation where you will travel from Claro M. Recto to Masinag, to Emerald, that will take easily three hours. With the construction of the two stations to be finalized by the fourth quarter of 2020, that travel time will be reduced to a maximum of 40 minutes,” he said.

Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade (5th from right) and Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda (6th from right) led the ceremonial track laying and installation of electromechanical systems (EMS) of the LRT Line 2 East Extension Project on Tuesday, 16 April 2019. (Courtesy of Department of Transportation Facebook Page)

The installation of EMS will be followed by the creation of the signaling system, overhead catenary system, telecommunications system, and the power supply and distribution system, which will be used to operate trains daily.

The four-kilometer LRT-2 extension will feature two stations – the Emerald station, along Marcos highway and adjoining Gil Fernando and Felix Avenues, and the Masinag station, near Sumulong highway in Antipolo City, Rizal.

According to the Light Rail Transit Authority, the construction of viaducts and two stations are now nearing completion.

The DOTr said that overall, the project is already 60 percent complete and is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2020. – Robie de Guzman

Full-line operation of LRT-2 East Extension stations begin

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— The LRT-2 East Extension on Tuesday (September 7) officially started its full-line train operations.

Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said that passengers  from the new east extension in Marikina and Antipolo need not transfer at Santolan station to complete their journey.

Previously, a shuttle train is provided for passengers to travel from Antipolo to Santolan and vice-versa.

Berroya also reported that previously,  five trainsets were running on the Santolan to Recto and vice-versa route with 14 to 16 minutes average headway, or interval between trains, while the shuttle from Antipolo to Santolan resulted in 18 to 20 minutes average trip time.

With the full-line operation, the LRTA official announced there are now eight trainsets resulting in 10 minutes headway.

“I am truly happy that the integration and migration tests were already completed and finally, passengers will not have to transfer at Santolan to complete their journeys,” he said.

Meanwhile, the free ride for Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APORs) will only last until Tuesday as Metro Manila will shift to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting Wednesday (September 8).

DOTr imposes stricter protocols in transportation in areas under ECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation will impose stricter health protocols in public utility vehicles (PUVs) in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said only authorized persons outside residence (APORs) as identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will be accommodated by public transport services.

The department already retained the current public transport supply and capacity of 50% for areas under ECQ.

“APORs are reminded to be ready to present to transport marshals identification cards issued by the IATF or other documents or IDs as proof that they are authorized to travel,” Tugade said.

During the ECQ, public and private vehicles shall strictly observe the prescribed physical distancing and sanitary measures at all times.

For PUVs, such as buses and jeepneys are allowed to operate at 50% capacity on a “one-seat-apart” setup. Standing passengers will not be allowed, and only one passenger will be allowed at the driver’s row.

For tricycles, operations will depend on the approval of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the local government. If operations are allowed, tricycle passenger load shall not exceed one passenger in the sidecar.

All trains of the Philippine National Railways, LRT-1, LRT-2, and the MRT-3 will have transport marshals to enforce health protocols and to identify APORs. Trains will also be disinfected after every loop. Passengers showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board trains. Temperature checks will be done at station entrances.

Marshals would be strictly enforcing the seven commandments of public transport safety at the transport stations and terminals, and inside public transport vehicles.

The 7 Commandments for Public Transport, based on the recommendations of health experts, are:

1. Wear masks and face shields;
2. No talking and making phone calls;
3. No eating;
4. Keep public utility vehicles well-ventilated;
5. Conduct frequent disinfection;
6. No passengers with COVID-19 symptoms are to be allowed inside public transportation; and
7. Observe appropriate physical distancing (“one-seat-apart”) rule

“We, therefore, remind the riding public of the importance of stringently observing the Public Transport Health Protocols, based on the recommendations of health experts, to protect and uphold the overall welfare of the passengers, and other transport stakeholders,” Tugade said. AAC

Passengers get free ride for two weeks as LRT-2 extension opens on July 5

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Passengers will get a free ride for two weeks as LRT-2 extension opens on July 5.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade Jr. said the LRT-2 extension will accommodate an additional 80,000 passengers with daily ridership increasing from 240,000 passengers to 320,000 passengers.

The rail extension line also cuts the usual three-hour road travel time from Recto, Manila to Masinag, Antipolo to just 30-40 minutes.

During the beginning of operations on Monday (July 5), commuters will board a shuttle train that will take them from the line’s Antipolo Station or at the Marikina-Pasig Station to the Santolan Station and vice versa. From the Santolan Station, passengers will transfer to another train that will take them to the Recto Station. -AAC

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