The PNR reopened a train service between Caloocan and Makati City on Wednesday, August 1
It’s no secret that public transportation in Metro Manila is far from ideal, so for commuters braving the urban streets every day, every little bit helps.
On Wednesday, August 1, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced that it is reopening the Philippine National Railways (PNR) train service from Caloocan City to Dela Rosa Street in Makati City.
The service was closed to the public in 1997 to give way to the planned Northrail Project, a rail line that would connect Tutuban in Manila to Malolos, Bulacan and further north to Clark, Pampanga. However, much of the rail tracks lay unused.
In a release, the DOTr said the Caloocan-Dela Rosa line is the fastest and most cost-efficient means of transportation from Caloocan to Makati, with running time of only 37 minutes.
Six trains with a total capacity of 700 to 800 passengers were deployed during the soft opening. The DOTr said they expect to be able to accommodate around 10,000 passengers.
The first trip from Caloocan to Dela Rosa leaves at 5:45am, while the last trip from Caloocan is at 5:15pm. From Dela Rosa to Caloocan, the first trip leaves at 6:28am, while the last trip is at 5:58pm.
The initial 13-km route run will make stops at 10th Avenue (Macario Asistio), 5th Avenue, Solis, Blumentritt, España, Sta. Mesa and Dela Rosa stations.
The minimum fare is set at Php12 (non-aircon) and Php15 (aircon).
The DOTr said the Caloocan-Dela Rosa Line would be operational until the construction of the PNR Manila-Clark Railway line, which broke ground in January this year, goes full blast.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the decision to reopen the line follows the efforts of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to begin the great revival of the Philippine railways.
“We will not just add, but also rehabilitate,” Tugade said. “We wanted to see concrete changes. We wanted to move fast. But, at the same time, we had to ensure na wala tayong nami-miss out na posibleng solusyon (we weren’t missing out on possible solutions). This is a good opportunity for us to make use of what is already there. Aayusin na lang kung kailangan. Hindi lang ito dagdag serbisyo sa publiko, kundi dagdag-kita rin sa gobyerno (We just need to fix it when needed. It’s not just public service, but additional earnings for the government),” he said.
Paul John Caña is the maaging editor of Entrepreneur PH