Rail sector promotes use of bicycles, installs free-to-use racks at train stations

Marje Pelayo   •   July 22, 2020   •   763

MANILA, Philippines — Community quarantine restrictions have limited the mode of transport in the country especially in Metro Manila.

For this reason, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) through its rail sector, has started installing bicycle racks at LRT-1, LRT-2, MRT-3 and Philippine National Railway (PNR) stations to promote the use of bicycles. 

Aside from convenience, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade supports the benefit of bicycle rides to commuters and the environment. 

“I fully support the establishment of the bike lanes as this active transport mode promotes a healthy lifestyle and clean environment. We will make this protected to ensure the safety of our cyclists,” Tugade stressed.

For safety and order, cyclists are reminded of the following rules:

  • Bike racks may be used free of charge.
  • Cyclists should bring their own personal padlocks.
  • Bicycle racks may be used from 5:00AM to 8:00PM only. 
    • LRT-2 – Parked bicycles beyond 8:00PM may still be claimed until the close of operations at 10:00PM.
    • PNR – Claiming of bikes is within operating hours.
  • No personal belongings such as bags or carry-ons should be left with the bicycle while parked at the rack.

Bicycle racks already in operation may be found in the following stations:

LRT-1 line

  • Central
  • Libertad Stations
  • EDSA Taft 

LRT-2 line

  • Legarda station 

MRT-3 line

  • North Avenue
  • Quezon Avenue
  • GMA Kamuning

The DOTr said cyclists are allowed to bring their folded bicycles inside the train car with a fare from origin to destination equivalent to one person, and subject to disinfection.

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DOTr suspends inauguration of LRT-2 East extension due to new COVID-19 restrictions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has suspended the inauguration of the LRT-2 East Extension Project from its original schedule on April 26 and set it to a much later date of June 23, 2021.

In a statement, the department said the adjustment is due to the new COVID-19 restrictions and to protect the health and safety of rail workers and the riding public.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan also reported that foreign rail experts who are necessary for the final stages of installation, testing, and commissioning works for the project have been unable to report for work or enter the Philippines due to stringent restrictions being enforced.

“As much as we would like to open the project earlier, kailangan pong unahin ang kalusugan at kapakanan ng ating mga rail workers at mananakay (we need to prioritize the health and well-being of our rail workers and passengers),he said.

LRT-2’s new stations, the Marikina Station and Antipolo Station will serve commuters from Recto, Manila going to Masinag, Antipolo, and back.

According to the DOTr, “the project is expected to cut travel time between Manila and Antipolo from the previous three (3) hours by bus or jeepney, to only 40 minutes.” AAC

DOTr warns vs fake Sec. Tugade Facebook account

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 16, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified in a statement on Thursday that the Facebook page/account bearing the name Sec Art Tugade does not belong to the transportation chief.

“Please be informed that Secretary Tugade *DOES NOT HAVE A PERSONAL FACEBOOK PAGE or ACCOUNT*, and is *NOT* involved in creating, managing, and handling the said page or other similar accounts,” the department stressed.

“Anything related to Secretary Tugade in his function and designation as Cabinet Secretary, and head of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is posted *ONLY* in the *OFFICIAL* DOTr social media accounts,” the DOTr added.

The agency also encouraged the public to immediately report to the DOTr any suspicious activity involving this unauthorized account, or any similar accounts for that matter. AAC

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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