The Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), private operator and maintenance provider of LRT-1, today (Oct 20) announced it's adjusting passenger loading capacity to 30 per cent gradually, up to 50 percent later on.
To ensure health safety for all, the operator will implement passenger control using the PLPP (passenger limit per platform) strategy, where only a defined number of passengers are allowed to board per station.
The move came after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued a directive to gradually increase the maximum passenger capacity of trains.
Despite the increase in loading capacity, Filipino commuters are assured of safety inside LRT-1 trains, LRMC stressed.
There is no high risk of infection for COVID-19 in public transportation, according to Spanish health experts from the Spain’s National Research Council (CSIC) and Spanish Epidemiological Association.
The risk of contagion on buses and trains is low due to the safety measures such as the use of face masks, as well as improved ventilation systems.
Researchers from Imperial College London have been commissioned by the Transport for London to carry out ongoing testing for COVID across the Tube and bus network, and found no evidence of coronavirus.
Countries such as Japan and France, which are highly dependent on transit, also did not trace back any infection clusters to public transport.
As part of its commitment to safety, LRMC’s Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality (HSEQ)
Department is also conducting its own study on the safety protocols for its LRT-1 trains.
“The LRMC study performed the dispersion experiment using Glo Germ® Mist to simulate sneezing and coughing," according to LRMC HSEQ OIC, Dr. Louernie de Sales.
Glo Germ is commonly used to simulate bacteria of 0.5micron size.
This study was limited only to the measurement of respiratory droplet dispersion.
The airborne transmission of COVID-19 was not taken into consideration yet.
An experiment using SARS-CoV-2 or similar specimen was not carried out for the safety of the researchers and the participants.
The study is currently undergoing peer review by partners from the University of the Philippines, who are also helping us work on this further.”
LRMC will publish its study once peer reviews are done. The study aims to support the safety in trains systems studied from abroad in the local setting.
“Rail Public Transportation is an enabler of our consumer driven economy," stressed LRMC President and CEO Juan F. Alfonso.
"Our mission is to provide safe transportation and we achieve this using best in class safety protocols.
We study the passenger behavior and target disinfection on the places most in contact of the passengers. These are measured by our team weekly, and adjustments are made to the priority areas for cleaning," he elaborated.
"I can assure our commuters that the LRT-1 system is safe,” Alfonso concluded.