IATF, DOTr to scale down social distancing on public transportation

Is this a good idea, though?
by Drei Laurel | Sep 11, 2020
PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

Commuters, you’re going to want to be extra careful when taking public transportation over the next few weeks.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has just announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved plans to begin scaling back social-distancing measures onboard public transport. This covers buses and other public utility vehicles (PUV), as well as the MRT-3, LRT-1, LRT-2, and PNR. The move comes in a bid to cater to more commuters, as more and more businesses are expected to re-open. Look:

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The “optimization” of physical distancing will begin on September 14, 2020. The required distance between passengers will be scaled back to just 0.75 meters from the recommended one meter. The distance will further be reduced to 0.5 meters two weeks afterward, and to just 0.3 meters after another two weeks. Standing passengers, meanwhile, will be allowed onboard modern PUVs.

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The wearing of face masks and face shields will still be required, while taking calls and talking onboard public transport is still prohibited. Check out the adjusted maximum passenger capacities for train lines:

LRT-1

  1. One meter – 155 passengers
  2. 0.75 meters – 204 passengers
  3. 0.5 meters – 255 passengers
  4. 0.3 meters – 300 passengers

LRT-2

  1. One meter – 160 passengers
  2. 0.75 meters – 212 passengers
  3. 0.5 meters – 274 passengers
  4. 0.3 meters – 502  passengers

MRT-3

  1. One meter – 153 passengers
  2. 0.75 meters – 204 passengers
  3. 0.5 meters – 255 passengers
  4. 0.3 meters – 286 passengers

PNR

  1. One meter – 166 passengers
  2. 0.75 meters – 184 passengers
  3. 0.5 meters – 256 passengers
  4. 0.3 meters – 320 passengers
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“There is a need to safely optimize the carrying capacity of the various public transport modes as Metro Manila and its adjacent areas continue with the transition towards the ‘new normal’ where more workers are expected to return to their re-opened workplaces and more businesses are expected to resume operations that were stopped during the enforcement of strict quarantine measures,” DOTr head Arthur Tugade said in a statement.

Do you think this is the right move? Let us know in the comments.

For more of our stories on the ongoing crisis, click here. For the latest news and updates on COVID-19, check out reportr.world/covid-19.

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PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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