Roque on his MRT-3, LRT-1 trip: Not that bad
Not that bad.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque had this to say on Thursday after he rode the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) and the Light Rail Transit (LRT-1), an hour after the usual rush hour at the train stations.
“Ang experience ko naman po dahil wala tayong aberya na na-experience, hindi naman po talaga masama. Medyo matagal nga lang ‘yung pila at hindi na rush hour. So I could imagine na pag rush hour mas matagal talaga ang pila, siguro minimum ng 30 minutes. Ang ibig sabihin lang ‘yan ay kulang talaga ang mga bagon,” he told reporters at the end of his train ride.
(My experience since we didn’t experience any glitch, it wasn’t that bad. Although, the line took long even though it wasn’t rush hour. So I could imagine when it’s already rush hour that it would take even longer, the minimum being 30 minutes. That means the coaches aren’t enough.)
Roque arrived at the MRT-3 North Avenue Station in Quezon City around 9:15 a.m. He queued for around 20 minutes, purchased his ticket, then boarded the train.
He got off at Taft Station, the last MRT-3 station, and then transferred to the LRT-1 station going to the Central Station in Manila.
During his MRT-3 ride, Roque joined some passengers standing inside the jam-packed train. He was only able to take a seat at the Buendia Station.
“Importante malaman ng Palasyo kung ano yung estado ng MRT at ‘yan ang dahilan kung bakit nandito tayo ngayon,” Roque told reporters, dismissing that his trip was for media publicity.
(It’s important for Malacañang to know the state of the MRT and that’s the reason why we’re here now.)
Though it was not a rush hour, Roque was still able to see the long queues of passengers at the train stations. While inside the train, he talked to passengers and asked about their struggles.
“Bagamit hindi ito rush hour, alam natin na mas komportable ito, na-i-imagine natin, ano ang hirap ng mga mananakay natin na kapag peak hours, mas mahaba ang pila. Problema, kulang bagon kaya napakahaba ng pila,” he said.
(Even though this isn’t the rush hour, we know this is more comfortable compared to, what we can imagine, the difficulty of the passengers when it’s peak hours when the lines are even longer. The problem is that we don’t have enough coaches, that’s why the lines are long.)
The MRT-3, since the previous administration, has drawn sharp criticism from the riding public due to trains that often broke down and long queues at its stations.
Last week, an MRT train car got detached on the northbound section between Ayala and Buendia stations, off-loading at least 130 passengers.
The incident happened two days after a female passenger’s arm was severed in a freak accident at the Ayala station.
Roque assured the commuters that Malacañang was doing everything to ease their burden amid the series of glitches that hit the MRT.
After his train ride, Roque said he would tell Duterte that the problems hounding the MRT-3 needed to be addressed.
“Well, sasabihin ko po na dapat talaga tutukan itong problema dito sa MRT,” he said.
(Well, I’ll tell him that the problem in the MRT really needs to be focused on.)
He said the President was concerned about the condition of the daily train riders.
The DOTC said the MRT-3 ridership has swelled to about 600,000 commuters a day, far above its 300,000 projected daily capacity.
“Inaalam talaga ng Pangulo ‘tong kalagayan talaga ang ating mga pasahero,” he said.
(The President wants to find out the state of out passengers.)
“I think we have sent a message na alam natin ang pulso ng bayan, ang hirap ng mga mananakay. At ang mensahe, ginagawa natin lahat para maibsan ang paghihirap ng mga nasa MRT,” he added.
(I think we have sent a message that we know the pulse of the nation, the difficulty of the passengers. And the message is, we will do everything to ease the difficulty of those who ride the MRT.)
Roque had earlier said he was planning to ride the MRT-3 once a week to understand the woes of commuters.
“I can do that, so that I can complain personally to the MRT people. Maybe I’ll do that, once a week, I’ll do that,” he said. /je
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