LRT2 resumes partial operation for Cubao-Recto route

Marje Pelayo   •   October 8, 2019   •   1039

MANILA, Philippines – The Light Rail Transit Authority has announced the resumption of partial operations of its train service from Cubao to Recto and back starting Tuesday (October 8).

In a statement, LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said they have completed the safety checks on the unaffected section of the train system.

“Thorough safety checks have been completed, and the signaling, telecommunications, power supply systems, tracks and the trains for these stations have been cleared and in normal condition. Hence, we are now ready to serve the riding public,” he said.

However, the LRTA has made adjustments to the train service schedule to give way to maintenance works.

Train operations will start late at 6:00AM from the previous 4:30AM and will close early at 8:30PM from the previous 10:30PM, according to the LRTA.

Specifically, Cubao station will be open from 6:00AM to 8:30PM while Recto Station will accept commuters from 6:00AM to 9:00PM only.

“We appeal to our passengers to allot an additional hour for their journeys since speed restrictions and a limited number of trains will be fielded to ensure passenger safety and the sufficiency of the power supply coming from the remaining rectifier substations,” Berroya stressed.

To serve the affected passengers, point-to-point buses (P2P) will be fielded at Masinag, Emerald and Santolan stations to and from Legarda starting Tuesday.

Likewise, 40 modernized public utility vehicles (PUVs) will be stationed to ferry passengers taking Santolan-Legarda route.

Meanwhile, a bus service loop will also be available at Santolan, Katipunan, Anonas and Cubao.

These PUVs and buses will operate from 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM daily.

Fare rate will be P15 from Santolan to Cubao and P25 from Masinag to Legarda.

Meanwhile, free rides from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will be available daily from 7:00AM to 7:00PM from Santolan to Cubao and back.

As of press time, tracks that connect Santolan, Katipunan and Anonas stations remain closed as the power supply and signaling systems in the said three stations are still down.

Smart Araneta Coliseum as mega vaccination site, inoculation to start Saturday — QC gov’t

Marje Pelayo   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government announced that the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao has been identified as one of the city’s mega vaccination sites.

Mayor Joy Belmonte confirmed that the Araneta Group has allowed the city government to use the Big Dome in support of the city’s vaccination program. Inoculations are expected to begin there on Saturday (May 15).

“We estimate that the Big Dome will be capable of delivering 1,000 to 1,500 COVID shots per day,” said Belmonte.

She added that measures for indoor settings, such as proper filters and fan systems for adequate ventilation, will be installed to ensure the safety of everyone who plans to get their jabs at the facility.

Belmonte expressed gratitude to the Araneta Group for offering the Big Dome to the city’s vaccination program for free.

“It is a suitable site for a massive and critical government health drive since it offers adequate space and accessibility to both our healthcare workers and the public,” Belmonte said.

“This will help us strengthen our efforts to provide our QCitizens the protection they need against COVID-19. The faster we vaccinate our people, the sooner we can achieve economic recovery,” the Mayor added.

Also, the Araneta Group committed to provide their own medical personnel to help with the inoculation.

“We are very pleased to accommodate the QC LGU’s vaccination campaign inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum. This is our contribution to the government’s efforts to control the surge of COVID-19 cases in the city and to improve public health,” according to Antonio Mardo, SVP for Operations of the Araneta Group.

The city earlier partnered with the Araneta Group in expanding its free COVID-19 swab testing initiatives. Araneta City was tapped since fourth quarter of 2020 as a venue for the local government’s free RT-PCR tests for the general public.

The company also allowed the free use of the Araneta City Bus Port as an accessible site for the drive-thru COVID-19 RT-PCR saliva testing of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

The site, which opened in February 2021, offers a painless and less invasive method of collecting samples while reducing person-to-person contact in COVID-19 testing.

LRT-2 to shorten operating hours starting April 17

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) will temporarily shorten its operating hours due to the increasing number of LRT-2 frontline personnel infected with COVID-19, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) said.

In an advisory, the LRTA said the shortened operating hours of 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. will be implemented starting Saturday, April 17 until April 30.

“Consistent with the guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), our Management opted to shorten the operating hours so as to help us prevent the further spread of the virus and avoid the possible paralysis of our operations in case the numbers continue to surge,” LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said.

Out of 1,944 total LRT-2 employees, 1,906 have been tested from April 7 to 8. Of this number, 273 individuals were found positive for coronavirus.

The LRTA said that only 56% are currently functioning among ticket management and sales collection personnel, and about 73% among train drivers. Some 68% of the station personnel are left available with the rest under quarantine due to COVID-19 infection or exposure.

“We have already isolated all the infected/exposed personnel, have implemented work-from-home arrangements for depot workers, revisited train ventilation and air-flow protocols, and ensured that all minimum public health standards are complied with at all times to avoid the further spread of the virus,” Berroya said.

He said that the reduced operating hours will allow the LRTA to still effectively manage LRT-2 operations considering the manpower deficit and allow COVID-19 afflicted employees to recover and complete their mandatory quarantine/isolation period.

The LRTA also noted that under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) being implemented until April 30, LRT-2 is expected to experience a significant decline in ridership.

“At this time of public health emergency, the welfare and safety of both our passengers and personnel must always come first,” Berroya said.

The LRTA appealed to passengers to strictly observe all the COVID-19 protocols, stressing that “the road to beat the virus is a two-way street.”

Passengers are also reminded to always wear face masks and face shields, to be self-aware and socially disciplined, and to adhere to all COVID-19 health and safety measures in place.

Meanwhile, buses are plying Route 9 (Antipolo to Cubao) and Route 10 (Cubao to Doroteo Jose) to augment LRT-2 operations and to help accommodate affected passengers.

The normal LRT-2 operating schedule will resume on May 1, 2021, the LRTA said

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LRT-2 eyes deployment of additional trains by April

Robie de Guzman   •   March 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) is looking to have more operational trains at the Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) by next month or just in time for the opening of the LRT-2 East Extension project.

“We are fast-tracking the restoration of the three trainsets to augment the existing operational trains of Line 2 and to reduce the current 14-minute headway to nine minutes,” LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said in a statement issued on Thursday.

The Department of Transportation earlier announced that two additional stations of the LRT-2 East Extension project – Marikina Station (in front of the Sta. Lucia mall and Robinsons) and the Antipolo Station (in front of SM Masinag) – will start operations on April 27.

The two new stations will serve commuters from Recto, Manila going to Masinag, Antipolo, and back, with travel time expected to be cut down to just around 40 minutes.

Last March 5, Berroya conducted a random inspection of the ongoing installation of train propulsion system and train monitoring system on three trainsets at LRT-2 Depot Maintenance Area.

LRT-2 maintenance provider AMSCO JV (joint venture of APT Global Inc., MultiScan Corporation, and Opus Land, Inc.) and manufacturer Woojin Industrial Systems Co, Ltd started the installation of the said systems last March 3, 2021.

Berroya said that fielding more trains will result in the accommodation of more than 20,000 passengers daily in addition to the current average daily ridership of 40,000.

“As train occupancy of passengers is regulated during this time of pandemic with passenger safety as our top priority, deploying additional trains will certainly help us cut the travel time of our commuters,” he said

“With the commitment provided by our maintenance provider, manufacturer, and the LRTA, we expect to have eight trainsets and ten trainsets by 2nd quarter and 3rd quarter of 2021, respectively,” he added.

Berroya also stressed that other down trains are set to be rehabilitated and new trainsets are planned to be procured for the LRT-2 East and West Extension Projects.

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