The Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Road Sector will continue to roll out other modes of public transportation to serve passengers affected by the temporary shutdown of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) until July 11.
DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddess Libiran said passengers may use the MRT-3 Bus Augmentation, the EDSA Busway System, and the Timog to Ortigas Mini Loop while the railway’s operation is still suspended following a spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases among its personnel.
Libiran said the Bus Augmentation Program will continue with 90 buses to be deployed to ferry commuters along the MRT-3 route and with a fixed dispatching interval of every three minutes. While an additional 190 buses will be deployed for the EDSA Busway service to transport passengers between Monumento and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
In the interim, the DOTr said that the EDSA Busway buses shall be using the following bus stops located at the curbside to pick up and/or unload passengers from Monumento to Quezon Avenue:
1. Bagong Barrio
2. LRT Balintawak
3. Kaingin Road
4. LRT Muñoz Station
5. MRT North Avenue Station (Southbound-Loading only, Northbound-Unloading Only) 6. MRT Quezon Avenue Station (Southbound-Loading only, Northbound-Unloading Only)
Buses will then shift to the median lanes from Quezon Avenue, and shall be allowed to load and unload passengers on the following median bus stops:
1. Main Avenue
Then, upon exiting Estrella, the buses will be allowed to pick up and/or unload passengers at the following curbside stops from Buendia to the PITX:
2. Ayala (Southbound-Unloading Only, Northbound-Loading and Unloading)
5. Taft Avenue (Southbound-Unloading Only, Northbound-Loading Only)
6. Roxas Boulevard
7. Macapagal Avenue
8. SM Mall of Asia
Meanwhile, for the Timog to Ortigas mini loop, shuttle services or mini buses will be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers at the curbside, the DOTr added.
As of Monday noon, the DOTr said that 198 MRT-3 personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, including 177 depot personnel and 16 station staff.
The MRT-3 management had earlier announced that it will suspend operations from July 7 to 11, but may be shortened or extended, until the management confirms a sufficient number of train personnel who will test negative and sustain limited operations.
According to the DOTr, the temporary shutdown will be undertaken to give way to RT-PCR or swab testing of all MRT-3 personnel, including those of its maintenance provider and subcontractors, to prevent further spread of the disease.
Thorough disinfection will also be done in the MRT-3’s depot, stations, and trains during the shutdown period.