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DOTr Answers Viral Photos of Long MRT Lines, Says It's Being Addressed

Several factors contributed to the long lines last week, the DOTr said.
by Clara Rosales
Just now
Photo/s: courtesy of DOTr-MRT-3 Facebook page

Transport authorities on Tuesday said they were taking steps to address long lines of commuters at the MRT-3 Ortigas and Ayala Stations last Friday after photos of queues went viral over the weekend.

In a joint statement from the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, the following factors were listed as reasons for the long queues last week:

  1. Heavy rain on Friday and seven vehicular accidents and two stalled vehicular incidents happened along EDSA, according to the MMDA. These took place between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m., adding on to traffic build-up and affecting turnaround for EDSA busway units.
  2. Physical distancing in buses for the EDSA Busway and in the MRT-3, with only 50% operational capacity in order to follow safety protocols.
  3. Free rides for all health workers, medical frontliners, essential workers and APORs at the EDSA Busway, under the Service Contracting Program of the DOTr and LTFRB.
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The DOTr said queueing and waiting are inevitable during rush hour, weekends, or when there are vehicular accidents and weather disturbances. Designated loading and unloading stations are keeping lines orderly now, the DOTr added.

“Lines of commuters at the MRT-3 Ortigas and Ayala stations that Friday night were in normal condition. The commuters in the photos lined-up to board buses at the EDSA Carousel stations, which are also located at the said MRT-3 stations,” the DOTr said.

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Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade ordered the implementation of the following to address long lines:

  1. Revisit the present free ride system, and to study if it may be expanded to other platforms, and not just limit it to the road transport sector
  2. Push the EDSA Busway Consortium to deploy the maximum number of authorized bus units under their contract to serve more commuters availing of the free bus ride, especially during rush hours, and to add more units as necessary
  3. Add more transport marshals to properly manage passenger traffic at the various EDSA Carousel stations, and to guarantee fast and orderly passenger bus boarding
  4. Deploy more "rescue skip buses" to congested EDSA Bus Stops to pick up passengers especially during rush hours
  5. Open more mini bus loops, so that EDSA busway units can maneuver immediately and fetch passengers
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A total of 15 more modern bus units with left side doors will be deployed in the EDSA Busway Route. The additional mini loops shall be monitored and managed by I-ACT, in coordination with MMDA, for smooth flow of traffic, the DOTr said.

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