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Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista (middle) and Undersecretaries (from left to right) Rene Glen O. Paje and Danilo Pamonag with Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretaries Martin Dino (4th from left) and Jonathan Malaya (right) sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which provides for the stronger participation of barangays in Listahanan 3 or the 3rd round of nationwide assessment of poor households. (Photo courtesy of DSWD) / PIA

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LRT-2 eastbound train on the viaduct near Marikina River towards Santolan station / Wikipedia

LRT-2 plans to resume partial operations on Tuesday

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The Light Rail Transit-Line 2 (LRT-2) plans to resume partial operations on Tuesday.

The operations of the line from Cubao Station in Quezon City to Recto Station in Manila are expected to resume.

On Monday, LRT-2 conducted simulation run and fine-tuning on LRT-2’s telecommunication system, said lawyer Hernando Cabrera, Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) spokesman.

The LRTA had earlier announced that the Santolan, Katipunan, and Anonas stations will still be out of service for a maximum of nine months to undergo extensive repair and rehabilitation.

LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said they cannot compromise the safety of the passengers as it is “paramount in the delivery of mass rail transit service.”

“We cannot compromise the safety of everyone so we need to thoroughly check the integrity and stability of LRT-2 structures and equipment before we resume operations,” Berroya said in a statement.

Thursday last week, the line’s operation was shut down when power rectifiers between Anonas and Katipunan Stations, and at Santolan depot were severely damaged after it tripped and caught fire.

Due to the incident, the LRTA suspended the entire LRT-2 operations, which continued until Monday, forcing thousands of passengers to find alternative modes of transportation in the already congested Metro Manila.

Thousands of commuters affected

Apart from the more than 200,000 troubled train passengers, Cabrera admitted that the shutdown also had adverse effects on the already congested metropolis inconveniencing commuters of other public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Additional PUVs and free bus rides were deployed in an effort to assist commuters, but Cabrera said these were not enough to ferry thousands of stranded passengers, particularly near Santolan station.

In a bid to augment PUVs servicing the affected passengers, the LRTA said it will continue to dispatch buses and UV Express service vehicles with special permits and modern PUJs to ferry affected passengers from Santolan to Cubao area and back.

Fares will range from P12 to P15, comparable to the train fare for the same routes.

There will also be dedicated loading and unloading bays for the PUVs in front of Santolan Station and near Mcdonald’s at the Araneta Center-Cubao Station. The buses will make stops at Anonas and Katipunan Stations to load and unload passengers, the LRTA said.

Likewise, the Metro Manila Development Authority will continue to provide free rides to passengers from Santolan to Cubao and vice versa from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

In a data from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) Technical Division office, the Board already issued special permits to 89 PUVs for LRT-2 bus augmentation program as of Sunday to provide additional assistance to commuters.

Probe still underway

Meanwhile, Cabrera bared that authorities are still investigating the cause of the rectifiers’ explosion.

Commissioning engineers from the United Kingdom involved in the design and installation of the existing rectifier substations also arrived in the country on Sunday to conduct a separate probe to help the LRTA to speed up the line’s repair, he added.

Cabrera explained that the nine-month closure of the three eastern stations of LRT-2 will not affect the line’s East Extension Project which is eyed to be completed by the end of 2020.

The LRT-2’s extension project intends to connect Santolan Station to Antipolo City through installing two new stations, namely: Emerald Station in Marikina City and Masinag Station in Antipolo.

The 13.8 kilometer LRT-2 train line currently has 11 stations running through Manila, San Juan, Quezon City, and Marikina.

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