LRT 2 partial operations start today, Oct. 8
Before the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2 shut down operations on Oct. 3 when two of its rectifiers (transformers) exploded and caught fire, it took Ryan Mendoza, a 19-year-old student of the Technological Institute of the Philippines in Manila, just over an hour to get to his 7:30 a.m. class from the Santolan station in Marikina City.
On Monday, it was already 8:51 a.m. and yet Mendoza was among the scores of commuters still scrambling to get a seat on the limited number of buses and jeepneys that had been allowed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to ferry stranded LRT 2 passengers between Santolan and Cubao, Quezon City.
Later in the day, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) spokesperson Hernando Cabrera announced that the train system would begin partial and shortened operations between Cubao and Recto stations from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. today.
The last train from Cubao will leave at 8:30 p.m. while the last train from Recto will depart at 9 p.m., he said in a tweet.
Phoebe Lois Baula, a fine arts student at a university in Manila who lives in Cainta, Rizal, shared that it now takes her almost four hours to get to her classes. Before, her commute lasted just over 60 minutes on the LRT 2.
“I’m currently looking for available bed spaces or dorms. This is the only possible solution right now for my own convenience,” Baula said. “Leaving every day at 4 a.m. and arriving home between 10 p.m. and midnight will exhaust me to death.”
Mass transport crisis
In a statement, Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes called the suspension of LRT 2 operations a “mass transport crisis” as he called for legislative action after all three train lines (LRT 1, LRT 2 and the Metro Rail Transit 3) suffered glitches last week.
“Shouldn’t this be examined during the budget hearings as there are government agencies involved? When will the Senate look into these issues?” he said.
Reyes added that operators of the MRT 3 and LRT 1 should abandon fare hike proposals “given the quality of service they [had] given commuters.”
Last Thursday, the LRT 2 suspended operations after two transformers powering its mainline exploded between the Katipunan and Anonas stations, and at the Santolan depot, stranding thousands of riders.
Based on the LRTA’s estimate, it would take at least six to nine months to bring the train line back to full operations.
As a stop-gap measure, the LTFRB had authorized 79 buses and 10 passenger jeepneys to ferry affected commuters.
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