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Eased distancing, faster trains boost MRT-3 ridership

November 04, 2020 - Wednesday 5:11 PM by PNA

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MANILA – The number of passengers served by the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) reached 104,346 on Tuesday, as compared to its daily average number of passengers of 70,000 back in October.

In a Facebook post, the MRT-3 said it was the highest number of passengers served in a day since the rail service resumed service amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic on June 1, 2020.

“Ito ay resulta ng mas pinataas na passenger capacity, mas mabilis na pagbiyahe ng mga tren at pagkakaroon ng mataas na bilang ng mga running at operational na train sets sa linya (This is the result of the increased passenger capacity, faster train travel, and more trains running and operational along the rail line),” the MRT-3 said.

From the previous maximum passenger capacity of 13 percent (51 passengers per train car or 153 per train) during the first several months of the pandemic, the MRT-3 now has a maximum passenger capacity of 30 percent (124 passengers per train car or 372 per train).

This was the result of eased physical distancing in public transportation from a minimum of 1-meter distance between passengers to a “one-seat-apart” policy recently approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

On Monday, the MRT-3 also increased the maximum speed of its trains from 40 kilometers per hour (kph) to 50 kph.

“Dahil dito, nabawasan ang average headway o oras sa pagitan ng mga tren mula 8.5-9 na minuto sa 20 tren, pababa ng 4-5 minuto (Because of this, the average headway or gap between 20 trains was reduced from 8.5 to 9 minutes to 4 to 5 minutes),” the MRT-3 said.

It also reminded passengers of the “seven commandments” aboard public transportation -- the mandatory wearing of face mask and shield, no talking, no eating, proper ventilation, regular disinfection, barring passengers with Covid-19 symptoms, and strict adherence to the one-seat-apart policy.  Raymond Carl Dela Cruz