The MRT-3 is ready to resume operations with new health protocols if Metro Manila shifts to a less strict general community quarantine (GCQ) next week, an official said on May 27.
Under GCQ, trains that usually carry 1,200 passengers will only be allowed to ferry up to 153 people per trip to ensure social distancing is observed on the carriage. A 1-meter gap must separate train riders in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, said MRT director for operations Michael Capati in a Teleradyo interview.
Aside form the train’s limited capacity, the entry of passengers onto train platforms will also be restricted. Back then, countless people could wait for the next train. Now, even passengers must remain socially distant even while waiting for the train.
All passengers will be required to wear face masks and undergo temperature scans, Capati added.
Pregnant women and those aged below 21 or above 60 are prohibited form riding the MRT-3, he said. These individuals are those most vulnerable to the respiratory disease.
The MRT’s 19 train sets will be disinfected twice every trip, once at the North Avenue station and once at the Taft station, said Capati.
"Kung kami po ay bibigyan ng order at nag-GCQ na tayo by June 1, ready naman po ang MTR-3 mag-mobilize," he said.
According to the Department of Interior and Local Government, President Rodrigo Duterte will decide on Metro Manila’s fate before the weekend.
Public transport is prohibited while Metro Manila is under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 31. The modified quarantine allows for certain industries and businesses to reopen or resume limited operations in order to boost the country’s economy during the pandemic.
Under GCQ, almost all industries will be allowed to resume operations up to 75%. However, mass gatherings related to amusement and entertainment will still be prohibited.