MRT trains started running faster on Thursday after new rails were installed in all stations as part of the rehabilitation of Metro Manila's main railway. It's a relief for commuters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new rails installed by Japan's Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries enables the trains to run at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour (kph), 10 kilometers more than the previous 30kph.
Passengers can expect shorter waiting times due to the increase in speed. Commuters had to wait for 8.5 to 9 minutes for the next train to come, but that is now reduced to just 6.5 to 7 minutes of waiting time.
There are plans to make the train go even faster by November, hitting a speed of at least 50kph. They are targetting to hit 60 kph by December.
Health protocols are being strictly implemented to slow the spread of the virus even as commuters rush in daily. Wearing of face masks and face shields, observing 1-meter social distance, are temperature scans are mandatory. Talking on the train, either to other passengers or on the phone, is prohibited.