Major train lines to increase passenger capacity starting Oct. 19

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 18) — More commuters will be able to ride trains starting on Monday, as the Department of Transportation increases the passenger capacity of all major train lines.

In a statement on Sunday, the DOTr said the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2, and the Philippine National Railways will run trains at 30 percent passenger capacity, up from the current 13 to 18 percent.

It added that passenger capacity will be gradually expanded to up to 50 percent.

With the 30 percent capacity rule, the MRT-3 can now accommodate 372 passengers per train set, up from the current 153 passenger limit.

LRT-1 and LRT-2 are also expected to load up to 370 and 486 passengers per train set, respectively, with the new rule in place.

The move to accommodate more daily commuters is in line with the country's bid to gradually open up the economy amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In preparation for the implementation, the DOTr said social distancing marks inside trains are now being adjusted.

To minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission, the agency said it will continue to enforce strict health and safety protocols inside the trains.

These are:

1. Wearing of face masks and face shields

2. No talking and making telephone calls

3. No eating

4. Keeping public utility vehicles well-ventilated

5. Conducting frequent disinfection

6. Prohibiting entry of symptomatic passengers

7. Observing appropriate physical distancing rule

Train marshals will also be deployed to ensure strict compliance of health protocols, the DOTr added.