3 LRT-2 stations closed for 9 months

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Three stations of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) will be closed for repair for the next nine months following a fire that paralyzed the rail line last Thursday, an official said yesterday.

The LRT Authority stands to lose more than P405 million in revenue with the closure of the LRT-2’s Santolan, Katipunan and Anonas stations, LRTA spokesman Hernando Cabrera told The STAR.

“Full line operations, that is from Recto to Santolan, will be back in nine months. But for partial operations, our target is by Monday or Tuesday next week,” Cabrera said. The trains would initially run from Recto to Cubao stations.

The LRTA is incurring P3.2 million in revenue losses daily with the full line closure of the LRT-2. The entire system has been shut down since Thursday and it is expected to remain so until Sunday.

But once partial operations start, “our losses will go down to P1.5 million,” Cabrera said.

The LRT-2 line caters to an average of 200,000 passengers a day.

The rail system stopped operations at around 11:24 a.m. Thursday after two transformers, one located between its Katipunan and Anonas stations and the other at the Santolan depot, caught fire.

In radio interviews, Cabrera said the transformers, which regulate the flow of around 1,500 kilovolts of electricity in the whole line, functioned in series and that was why when the Katipunan-Anonas transformer burst into flames, the depot transformer burned as well.

Cabrera said it would require a minimum of P430 million to replace and restore the LRT-2 to full operational capacity.

He said the amount already includes importation, installation and commissioning.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, he said.

Cabrera said they were able to contact the ones involved in the installation of the transformers.

“The same people will be coming on Sunday to inspect. They may be giving us recommendation or report as to what really happened,” he said.  

Starting yesterday, Cabrera said the MMDA has provided four buses to shuttle passengers for free between Santolan and Cubao.

Today, he said four more buses will be added with the help of Philippine Coast Guard.

“So there will be eight buses that will be plying Santolan to Cubao for free,” he said.

Cabrera said they also coordinated with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to allow 50 UV Express vans to ply between Santolan and Cubao stations. Passengers would have to pay fares when using the vans, he said. Ghio Ong


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