The partial reopening of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT 2) on Monday was a failure, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) said.
LRTA spokesman Hernando Cabrera said they failed to “tune up” the power supply and telecommunication systems, which were struck by fire last Thursday.
“Hanggang ngayong araw, may naiiwan pa rin tayong technical issues pagdating doon sa ating telecommunications system at saka sa ating power supply system (Up to today, there are unresolved technical issues on the telecommunications and power supply systems),” he said in a radio interview.
Cabrera said despite conducting continuous simulation, they could not achieve the targeted level of convenience and safety for passengers.
“Hangga’t hindi namin naa-achieve iyon, hindi kami puwedeng mag-operate muna (Until we achieve that, we cannot operate),” he added.
The LRTA earlier announced it would halt operations from Santolan station to Anonas station for up to nine months as it procures P340 million worth of spare parts to replace those gutted by the fire on October 3.
Most of the customized parts will be imported from the UK, while some may come from Japan and France, Cabrera said.
He said the LRT planned to resume partial operations on 8 of its 11 stations — from Recto, Manila to Cubao, Quezon City on Monday.
Some 220,000 passengers use the LRT Line 2 daily.
The railway loses P3.2 million in revenue in each day of shutdown, but this would go down to P1.5 million once it partially resumes operations, Cabrera said.
A sea of passengers who were hoping to take the train had to take buses and other public utility vehicles allowed by Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to ply the Santolan-Cubao route from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. instead.
Regulators granted special permits for 89 buses to ferry LRT 2 passengers.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority deployed four buses offering free rides.
Authorities are cautious of deploying more buses along the LRT 2 route because some roads like Anonas are narrow and will experience gridlocks in case of vehicular accidents, Cabrera said.