LOOK: Commuters with no transpo options struggle on first day back to work as NCR shifts to GCQ
Without employer-provided shuttle services, workers wait hours for buses as they return to work after two months
Jun 1, 2020
As the country’s labor force go out of their homes and back to their workplaces after more than two months, limited public transportation leave many lining up and waiting for hours.
This is due in part to some employers’ insistence to have their employees back at work despite not providing shuttle services required by the government as a prerequisite to resume operations.
This morning, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade asked the public to extend their patience and understanding to the government saying it did not promise rides for all workers.
“Nakikiusap kami at nagsusumamo sa inyo na bigyan niyo kami ng pasensiya at understanding… Wala kaming pinangako o sinabi na ang transportasyon ay magiging extensive and will meet the requirements of all on the first day of GCQ—and even in the duration of the GCQ for that matter. Because as I’ve said, our approach is partial, limited, calculated, and gradual,” he told CNN Philippines.
Here’s a look at this morning’s commute situation in major locations in NCR.
MRT, LRT and PNR
With MRT, LRT, and PNR lines back to operations but with limited capacity, many flocked to stations early this morning and were met by new safety protocols like temperature checks and marked queues to ensure social distancing.
LOOK: Line at LRT-1 Roosevelt station in front of Walter Mart North Edsa as of 7:30 a.m. on the first day of GCQ. Trains are among the means of public transport that resumed operations today albeit at limited capacities. | @MegINQ pic.twitter.com/ss7AKrwlHd
— Inquirer (@inquirerdotnet) May 31, 2020
At LRT-2 Cubao station, LRT admin advised passengers to load up their cards good for three days to minimize contact and risk of COVID-19. Only 30 passengers took the train at 5 a.m.
Jun. 1 also marked the start of phase 1 of the DOTr and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)’s new lanes. Inner left lanes are for point-to-point buses and two and a half middle lanes are for private vehicles
Noticeably absent though is the promised bikes and motorcycles lane on the outer left, forcing those who are pedaling back to work to be cautious as they share the road with cars.
Also, contrary to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia’s statement yesterday about bikers on EDSA being apprehended and asked to reroute, Cycling Matters’s Jan Belmonte said enforcers themselves are unaware that such order exists and cyclists can freely take up space on the major thoroughfare’s outer lane.
At other major highways like Commonwealth and Marcos Highway, commuters hoping to go to work early this morning wait as buses come to ferry them to their destination. Some brave the streets today even without assurance that they can commute because their employers did not provide them with shuttle services.
Header photo courtesy of Miguel Camus/Inquirer
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