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MRT, LRT lines increase passenger capacity

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The four of Metro Manila rail lines are increasing the maximum passenger capacity of their trains to accommodate more commuters, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a report by Philippine Star. 

In a statement, the Department of Transportation disclosed that the Metro Rail Transit Line-3, Light Rail Transit Line-2, Light Rail Transit Line-1, and the Philippine National Railways will increase their respective maximum passenger capacities to 30%, and later 50%.

This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte and the entire Cabinet voted to approve the transportations recommendations of the economic development council, which also include a "one-seat apart" rule on public transportation, the use of service contracting to expand bus and jeep capacity, the expansion of rail capacity to 30 to 50%, and the expansion of provincial buses, motorcycle taxis, shuttles and transport network vehicle services.

As it stands, the current maximum passenger capacity of these railway lines ranges from 13% to 18%. 

According to DOTr data requested by earlier, passenger averages over the initial general community quarantine period were 43,341 during weekdays and 33,570 during weekends.

The MRT-3 will be increasing its train capacity initially to 30% with 372 passengers per train set, from the current reduced capacity of 13% with 153 passengers per train set. Once the 50% increased capacity is implemented, the MRT-3 will be able to cater to 591 passengers per train set.

The LRT-1 line will also be increasing its passenger capacity to 30% and expect that its trains will accommodate 370 passengers per train set, and later, 620 passengers once it increases to 50%.

For the LRT-2, trains will be able to accommodate 486 passengers per train set at 30% capacity, up until 814 at 50% capacity.

The PNR will be implementing an increase to 30% in the capacity of each of the rail line's train models, after which it will be able to accommodate: 

  • 179 passengers per train set for the DMU ROTEM model
  • 167 passengers per train set for the DMU 8000;
  • 228 passengers per train set for the DMU 8100;
  • and 302 passengers per train set for the EMU model. 

Once the 50% capacity is implemented, the PNR will be able to serve an average of 259 passengers per train set. 

In preparation for the implementation of the increased capacity, social distancing marks inside trains are being adjusted for passengers, the department also said in its statement. Train marshals will also be deployed in stations and inside the trains to ensure the compliance of passengers.

Tugade added that the railway sector was reminded to implement the department's thrust of adding PUV, routes, trains, increasing speed and capacity, then reducing travel time and headway. 

During the lifting of enhanced community quarantine in June, the rail lines were able to accommodate:

  • LRT-1: 43 per train car, 158 per train set, or only 12% of its capacity
  • LRT-2: 40 per train car, 160 per train set, or only 10% of its capacity
  • MRT-3: 51 per train car, 153 per train set, or only 13% of its capacity
  • PNR: 148 average persons per train car or 20% capacity on average

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