THE Philippine National Railways (PNR) is expecting an 80% decline in monthly revenues due to government restrictions as the country gradually eases lockdown measures.
Train operations in Metro Manila are set to resume by June 1, more than two months since the region was placed under strict lockdown.
“80% po ang mawawalang revenues mula sa operation sa June 1 (Around 80% of revenues will be lost once we commence operation on June 1),” PNR Acting Assistant General Manager Celeste D. Lauta said in an interview with DZMM on Friday.
On average, the state-owned railway company collected P25 million in revenues monthly before the lockdown period began in mid-March.
Despite the expected revenue drop, PNR said it will maintain its fare between P15-P60.
PNR will be limiting its passenger capacity per travel to 143 from the usual average of 750. It will only accep 15 passengers at its first station.
Meanwhile, Manila Metro Rail Transit System Line 3 (MRT-3) will set its capacity to 153 passengers per travel from 1,200 as it likewise resumes operations, accepting only 75 people at the first station, but will not increase fares, as well.
“Alam naming bababa ang aming revenues, pero ang mga pamasahe, increase, wala po (We know that our revenues will go down but there will be no fare increase),” MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael J. Capati said.
To augment its limited capacity, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said around 300 to 500 buses will be deployed on Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue along with point-to-point buses, traversing the middle lane.
“In general terms, ikakasa namin ‘yung operation ng tren (we will commence the train operations) with bus operation following the same line. Para sa ganoon, ma-achieve natin (So that, we can have) more or less volume of passengers that move [around],” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said in a briefing on Thursday night.
The DoTr said physical distancing marks are already placed around MRT-3 facilities, setting passengers at least a meter apart from one another.
Mr. Capati said train marshals will enforce the distancing protocol.
Meanwhile, PNR’s Ms. Lauta said there will be thermal scanning of PNR passengers upon their entry.
The government on Thursday said it will place under general community quarantine (GCQ) the National Capital Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, the provinces of Pangasinan and Albay, and Davao City, while the rest of the country will be under a modified GCQ. — Adam J. Ang