DOTr says sorry to inconvenienced MRT passengers amid reports of long queues

June 2, 2022 - 11:38 AM
Passengers wearing face masks and face shields for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) get off a train in Manila, Philippines, January 29, 2021. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

The Department of Transportation apologized for the inconvenience a defective escalator in a Metro Rail Transit station caused to commuters.

DOTr on Thursday, June 1 that it received reports about a passenger build-up at the footbridge and stairway areas of MRT Ortigas Avenue station yesterday.

This statement was posted on the agency’s Facebook page.

“On 1 June 2022, we received reports of a passenger build-up observed at the stairway and footbridge area of Ortigas Ave. station. Based on initial reports, this was due to a defective escalator being closed to the public for safety reasons,” DOTr said.

Some commuters previously uploaded photos and videos of the footbridge being congested with long queues of passengers and other people who are trying to move across it.

They noted that the escalator was also out of order at that time.

DOTr explained the importance of this escalator as serves as an access for all commuters who are passing through MRT Ortigas’ footbridge and stairway.

“During normal operations, the escalator is used as access of MRT-3 passengers, bus passengers, and passers-by going to and from nearby malls, while the stairway is used by exiting MRT-3 passengers. The closure of the escalator resulted in a single entry and exit at the northbound stairway of the mix of passengers and passers-by,” the agency said.

DOTr also attributed the thick crowds to the narrow walkway at the street below the station.

“The narrow walkway at the street-level area contributed to the build-up as only one person can walk through at a time. However, no long queues were observed inside the MRT-3 platform and concourse area,” it added.

To address the problem, the agency stated that the MRT stations and security personnel immediately implemented a “stop-and-go” scheme for crowd control.

Technicians from the subcontractor of MRT-3’s maintenance provider were also summoned to repair the escalator.

At 9:30 am of June 1, the agency said that the passenger flow has been normalized.

Following this incident, DOTr extended their “deepest apologies” to the passengers affected.

“We extend our deepest apologies to all our passengers who were inconvenienced by the incident. We assure the public that we will take all the necessary steps, such as deployment of stand-by technicians, and close coordination with the Road Sector in crowd management, to prevent this incident from happening again,” the agency said.

Some Facebook users welcomed the department’s apologies via the comments section of the post.

Some commuter concerns, however, still persisted.

This time, they hoped that the inconvenience brought by the narrow walkway below Ortigas station would be addressed soon.

Aside from congested MRT stations, other commuters also previously reported on long queues in some bus stops of the EDSA Carousel.

One user uploaded photos that showed the still-common woes when waiting for rides at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).

READ: Metro Manila commuter woes in photos, videos: Long queues, crowded terminals for buses, trains