LRTA announces limited LRT-2 operations for nine months`
The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) on Friday announced reduced train operations of LRT Line 2 for nine months after fire hit the Katipunan station Thursday.
LRTA spokesperson Hernando Cabrera said partial operations from Recto to Cubao stations will start next week following full system shutdown caused by fire in Katipunan station.
Cabrera explained that for the next nine months, the train will be on partial operations, making three stations unavailable for the riding public.
"For the partial operation, meaning from Recto to Cubao, we might be able to resume by Monday or Tuesday," he said in a television interview over ANC.
"But for the full line operation, meaning from Recto to Santolan, it will take around nine months minimum. We will not be able to use Santolan, Katipunan, and probably Anonas for the next nine months," he added.
He explained that the main materials needed to repair the damaged and affected stations will come from abroad, thus the long temporary closure of the three stations.
"Most of the major components of the damaged system are from abroad, specifically from United Kingdom, France and Japan. We have to follow some procurement process though we have already initiated what we call an emergency procurement procedure," he clarified.
"Still we have to take into consideration the fact that the items that we are requiring are not on-shelf item. They will have to be customized for our system," Cabrera reiterated.
The nine month restoration, according to LRTA Administrator General Reynaldo Berroya, was due to the "severe damage" of the two rectifier substation. He said the replacement requires procurement process, delivery, installation, testing, and commissioning.
“Test runs and safety checks of all equipment and facilities such as signalling, communications, power and trains should be completed before we can partially operate,” said Berroya in a statement.
LRTA assures the public that buses from Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Philippine Coast Guard will be deployed to ease commuters woes.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) also coordinated with LRTA to allow passage of buses along "out-of-line route" at the three suspended stations.
"Administrator Berroya expresses his gratitude for the help of DOTr and various government agencies such as Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, MMDA and LTFRB, after the incident," the LRTA statement read.
"He ( Berroya) also appeals for understanding and patience from the riding public and assured that LRTA will exhaust all efforts to fast-track the repair and upgrade of the system as several modernization and rehabilitation projects are underway," it added. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS