IATF allows increased passenger capacity for public transport vehicles

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The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (-EID) has approved the proposal to increase the of vehicles by reducing the physical distance among commuters.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said public transport vehicles needed to be “safely optimize the carrying capacity” as Metro Manila and nearby areas gradually move towards the “new normal” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He added workers are expected to return to their jobs as more industries would be allowed in the coming days.

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The Department of Transportation chief said the agency eyes the initial optimization of the physical distancing measure in mass transportation to .75 meters among commuters starting September 14.

“It will further be optimized to 0.5 meters after two weeks and to 0.3 meters after another two weeks,” Tugade added.

The DOTr explained that with the current health protocols, such as the mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields during a commute, the one-meter physical distancing measure could already be adjusted.

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Economic Development Cluster (EDC) also supported the move to increase the passenger capacity in public transport vehicles after consulting with health experts. Aside from the mandatory use of face mask and face shield, answering phone calls and talking are also prohibited inside public trains.

Secretary Carlito Galvez also believes reducing the physical distancing among commuters would help to ease the transportation woes of commuters.

“With public transportation, there is faster recovery of lives and livelihoods as we push forward under the new normal,” Galvez said.

Also read: Comelec imposes ‘no face shield, no registration’

IATF allows increased passenger capacity of public transport vehicles

For trains, the expected increase in passenger capacity is supported by data based on physical simulation. Below is the new passenger capacity of the railway lines once the physical distancing is reduced per train set:

LRT-1

  • 1-meter: 155
  • 0.75-meter: 204
  • 0.5-meter: 255
  • 0.3-meter: 300

LRT-2

  • 1-meter: 160
  • 0.75-meter: 212
  • 0.5-meter: 274
  • 0.3-meter: 502

MRT-3

  • 1-meter: 153
  • 0.75-meter: 204
  • 0.5-meter: 255
  • 0.3-meter: 286

PNR

  • 1-meter: 166
  • 0.75-meter: 184
  • 0.5-meter: 256
  • 0.3-meter: 320

The passenger capacity on roll on-roll off passenger’s vessels would also be gradually reduced:

  • 1-meter: 50%
  • 0.75-meter: 75%
  • 0.5-meter: 85%
  • 0.3-meter: 100%

Meanwhile, DOTr said optimizing the physical distance in class 2 modern public utility vehicles and public utility buses means standing passengers could already be allowed.

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