Six days after suspending its train service to complete coronavirus disease (Covid-19) testing of all of its personnel, the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) on Monday resumed operations with more stringent health safeguards.
In a Facebook post, the MRT-3 said it has resumed its train service with 12 of its CKD trains and two Dalian trains, with an average headway—or time between trains—of nine minutes.
“The first trains will leave North Avenue and Taft Avenue stations at 5:30 a.m. The last train from North Avenue station will depart at 9:10 p.m. while the last train from Taft Avenue station will depart at 10:11 p.m.,” the MRT-3 said in Filipino.
To further limit possible viral transmission among its trains, the MRT-3 has announced that it now prohibits its passengers from talking when inside its trains—including making and receiving phone calls.
“It is now prohibited for passengers to answer calls on mobile phones, or through any other device, as well as talking while inside the train,” the MRT-3 said.
The measure, it said, aims to curb possible transmission of the disease through the reduction of “respiratory droplets” that occur when talking, coughing, and sneezing, in addition to wearing face masks at all times.
It said it will also require passengers to comply with its intensified contact-tracing protocols such as mandatory accomplishment of health declaration forms.
To address the decreased passenger capacity of its trains brought by physical distancing, the MRT-3 said its bus augmentation program will continue with 90 buses running at a fixed headway of three minutes.