The Philippine National Railways (PNR) is set to open its Lucena-San Pablo run before the administration of President Duterte ends in June 30, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Rehabilitation of the Lucena-San Pablo line was ongoing along with the rest of the PNR Bicol railway linking Metro Manila to Southern Luzon provinces.
“As the Duterte administration nears its conclusion, Secretary (Arthur) Tugade made a covenant with the Filipino people not to waste even a single day at work. There is no time to relax even until the last day of office,” the DOTr said in a Facebook post.
Once reopened, the Lucena-San Pablo line will reduce travel time between San Pablo, Laguna and Lucena, Quezon to one hour and 30 minutes. The reopening is seen to help boost the economic corridors of both provinces and neighboring areas.
The line is part of the 560-kilometer PNR Bicol railway scheduled to be operational by 2027.
The facility will have 35 stations and will run from Manila through Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Albay, an extension line in Sorsogon, and a branch line in Batangas.
Meanwhile, The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) said it has so far given almost 11 million free rides to the public since the beginning of its “Libreng Sakay (free ride)” program in March.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the MRT-3 said a total of 10,990,908 passengers have received free rides at the MRT-3 from March 28 until Monday.
The free ride program is set to end on May 30 after it was extended for another month as of end-April.
The program was meant to showcase the improved service and facilities of the MRT-3 after its rehabilitation was completed in December last year.
To date, it runs four four-car trains and 18 three-car trains — each train car is capable of carrying 394 passengers, allowing four-car trains to carry 1,576 passengers and three-car trains with 1,186.
To help ensure the safety of passengers a day after the elections, it also held antigen testing for all of its employees on Tuesday.
“This activity is part of health and safety protocols of the rail line to maintain zero Covid-19 cases among employees at the depot and the mainline,” the MRT-3 said.
Passengers were reminded that minimum health protocols remain enforced at the MRT-3, along with other public transport rules such as no eating, no drinking, no talking, and mandatory wearing of face masks.