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DOTr: Opening of LRT2 East Extension moved to June 23, 2021 due to COVID-19 situation

The scheduled opening of the two additional stations of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT2) extending it all the way to Rizal province late April will be moved two months later, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Friday.

In a statement, the DOTr said it reset the formal inauguration of the LRT2 East Extension Project from its original schedule on April 26 to June 23, 2021.

“The schedule adjustment was made following recent developments in the country’s COVID-19 situation despite the project already being substantially complete,” the DOTr said.

“Instead of a formal inauguration, an operational trial run will be conducted on 26 April 2021,” it said.

Transportation Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan said that following a railway sector meeting held prior to the Holy Week, it was decided to reset the inauguration date to protect the health and safety of rail workers and the riding public.

Moreover, foreign rail experts who are necessary in the final stages of installation, testing, and commissioning works for the project have been unable to report for work or enter the Philippines due to stringent restrictions being enforced.

Recently, stricter preventive measures have been enforced, placing Metro Manila and its nearby provinces under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) bubble due to the surge of recorded COVID-19 cases.

As of February 28, the LRT-2East Extension Project has an overall progress rate of 96.51%, while the construction phase is at 94.03%.

Final stages of installation, testing, and commissioning for the extension line's Overhead Catenary System (OCS), power systems, and signaling were affected by recent COVID-19 restrictions, and will be completed before inauguration, according to the DOTr.

The LRT2's new stations, the Marikina Station and Antipolo Station, will serve commuters from Recto, Manila going to Masinag, Antipolo, and back.

The line’s project is expected to cut travel time between Manila and Antipolo from the previous three hours by bus or jeepney, to only 40 minutes.

Once fully operational, the East Extension line will increase LRT2's capacity by 80,000 passengers per day. — RSJ, GMA News