Cellphone calls, conversations banned in MRT-3 trains

Published July 14, 2020, 8:18 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

Passengers boarding the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) are now prohibited to answer calls or to converse with other commuters as the line management ramped up its safety and health protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) inside the trains.

“Upang maiwasan ang posibleng pagkalat at pagkahawa ng virus sa mga commuters, ipinagbabawal na ang pagsagot ng tawag sa cellphone ng mga pasahero at pagsasalita sa loob ng tren,” the management said in an announcement.

(To prevent the possible spread and transmission of the virus to commuters, passengers are not allowed to answer a phone call and speak while inside the train.)

According to the MRT-3, respiratory droplets that come from speaking, coughing, and sneezing can cause viral infections, so passengers are also reminded to keep their face masks on at all times.

Meanwhile, on the second day of its limited operations after the six-day shutdown, the line management was able to increase the number of trains running on the busiest railway in the metropolis.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Goddess Libiran said that as of Tuesday, a total of 15 trainers are now up and running with a headway of 8.5 minutes, from the 12 trains initially deployed on Monday.

Each train set, the DOTr said, can accommodate at least 153 passengers or 51 per train car while maintaining a one-meter distance inside the train.

All passengers are also now required to fill up a health declaration form while queueing and should be submitted before they go through the turnstile.

In addition, all station personnel such as ticket sellers, security guards, and those in the janitorial service have been ordered to wear full personal protective equipment to protect fellow employees and passengers.

Operations of the MRT-3 resumed at a limited capacity on Monday after the management was able to gather a sufficient number of employees who tested negative for COVID-19.

At least 281 personnel of the MRT-3 including depot and station staff, ticket sellers, employees of Sumitomo-MHI-TESP, its maintenance provider and its subcontractors, and other service providers contracted COVID-19 that leads to a mass swab testing of all employees last week.