May 5, 2020

What will the post-pandemic public transport system in the country look like? Notorious for its jam-packed train coaches filled to the brim with passengers rushing to get in, the Manila Light Rail Transit (LRT) System and the Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT) System brace for a “new normal” as they resume operations May 16 after the enhanced community quarantine is lifted.

However, there will be changes put in place to ensure social distancing and public health and safety such as limiting passenger in LRT lines 1 and 2 (40-43 passengers per train car), MRT line 3 (51 per train car) and the Philippines National Railways (148 per train set). All these numbers are based on the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) passenger simulation with one-meter distance apart.

DOTr has also issued some guidelines on who gets to board the train. People not wearing masks, whose temperature is 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher, senior citizens, individuals aged 0-20 years old and pregnant women will not be allowed entry at the station and will immediately be assisted by train personnel to go to the nearest health facility.

Likewise, handwashing and disinfecting stations will be put up at each station.

Over the last few days, DOTr also shared photos inside the train cars with its seats and floors now demarcated to indicate the recommended distance between individuals.

LOOK: The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has placed markers on areas inside the trains, as well as in the station…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

On LRT 2, stenciled signs are put on benches, floors and platforms while on MRT 3 trains, X marks indicate areas to be let free of passengers to ensure that proper distancing is achieved.

Last week, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque outlined some industries which can resume its operations in areas with low to moderate COVID-19 infection risk, where general community quarantine (GCQ) is in place. Such sectors include service, retail and production. 

[READ: “Bukas na ba?” A list of services and sectors allowed under GCQ]

Whether or not the National Capital Region will continue to be under enhanced community quarantine or will shift  to GCQ come May 15 when the second extension is supposed to lapse still depends on whether we can flatten the curve. As of writing, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country is over 9,500, 5,800 of which are in Metro Manila.


Header photo courtesy of Department of Transportation and Eldon Vince Isidro on Unsplash

Get more stories like this by subscribing to our weekly newsletter here.

Read more:

LOOK: PH’s first mega swabbing center to open May 6 along Roxas Blvd.

DepEd: New school year to begin on Aug. 24

Stranded OFWs to be prioritized by government, Duterte orders LGUs to allow entrance

TAGS: covid-19 ecq gcq LRT mrt PNR public transport social distancing Train