Commuters in Metro Manila know how difficult it is to practice social distancing when riding public transport, especially when traveling via the city’s trains. This is why the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will only allow the major rail lines to resume operations at a limited capacity once the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the capital is lifted.
However, limiting the capacities of the trains won’t necessarily lessen the actual demand for its services. Given how trains are usually filled to the brim—oftentimes even during off-peak hours—this could easily result in long waiting lines. The MRT-3 management knows this, and it has advised its commuters to anticipate longer queues at the train stations once the ECQ is lifted.
According to a report by GMA, commuters who used to allot 30 minutes of waiting time before boarding the MRT have been told to expect queues that could last for about 2 to 3 hours post-ECQ. Doing the math, this just means that with these new policies in place, the actual waiting time will be at least four times longer than before.
So, if you found the daily commute hellish already a few months back, then you’ll be in for a surprise once we arrive at the ‘new normal.’ But hey, all in the name of safety, right? What do you think? Share your two cents in the comments section.