Temporary Suspension of PNR Services for NSCR Construction

Philippine National Railways Chairman Michael Macapagal on Monday, July 3, 2023, explains to the media the details of the South Commuter Railway System, an elevated, double track and electrified track system that will be constructed along PNR's existing route from Alabang to Calamba. The P73.25 billion project is co-financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Asian Development Bank. PHOTO BY MIKE ALQUINTO
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The Philippine National Railways (PNR) has announced that it will temporarily halt its Governor Pascual-Tutuban and Tutuban-Alabang operations starting March 28. This suspension is aimed at accelerating the construction of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project in Metro Manila. The Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary, Jaime Bautista, stated that this temporary halt will expedite the NSCR construction by eight months and result in cost savings of at least P15.18 billion.

The primary reason for suspending PNR services is to ensure the safety of passengers during the construction of the NSCR. By temporarily halting operations, potential risks and hazards can be minimized, guaranteeing the well-being of commuters.

To mitigate the inconvenience caused by the suspension, the DoTr, in collaboration with the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), has arranged alternative bus routes. These alternative routes will cater to passengers affected by the PNR suspension. Buses traveling along the Tutuban route to Alabang and vice versa will drop off and pick up passengers near the current PNR route.

For southbound buses, the designated route will pass through Divisoria (Tutuban), Mayhaligue Street, Abad Santos Avenue, Recto Avenue, Legarda Street, Quirino Avenue, Nagtahan Flyover, Mabini Bridge, Quirino Avenue, Osmeña Highway, Nichols Entry, South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), Bicutan Exit, Bicutan Entry, and Alabang (Starmall).

On the other hand, northbound buses will follow the route from Alabang (Starmall), Manila South Road, East Service Road, Alabang (Entry), SLEx, Bicutan Exit, Bicutan Entry, Nichols Exit, Osmeña Highway, Quirino Avenue, Legarda Street, Recto Avenue, Abad Santos Avenue, Mayhaligue Street, and Divisoria (Tutuban).

The bus trips along the Tutuban-Alabang (Southbound) route will commence at 7:30 a.m., 9:10 a.m., 3 p.m., 3:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9 p.m. For the Alabang-Tutuban (Northbound) route, bus trips will start at 5 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 5 p.m., and 6:10 p.m.

The NSCR, a state-of-the-art 147-kilometer rail line, is expected to significantly reduce travel time from Clark, Pampanga, to Calamba, Laguna, by less than two hours. With a projected capacity of accommodating 800,000 passengers per day, this railway system will play a crucial role in decongesting Metro Manila’s vehicular traffic. Furthermore, it is anticipated to foster economic growth in all the cities and municipalities it passes through.

In conclusion, the temporary suspension of PNR operations in Metro Manila will expedite the construction of the NSCR project. Although this may cause inconvenience to some commuters, the alternative bus routes have been arranged to ensure a smooth transition during the suspension period. The NSCR holds great promise in terms of reducing travel time, relieving traffic congestion, and driving economic development in the areas it serves.

Source: The Manila Times

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