Posted on July 14th, 2009
The Philippine National Railways has been revived and they now come with new and refurbished coaches. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated the rehabilitated train system, before riding on it, together with Vice President Noli de Castro, as it chugged along last Tuesday afternoon, which awed those who have â€œhome along da rilesâ€ as it passed by.
The new PNR will have 19 stations across Metro Manila from Caloocan to Alabang, while it plans to have a route that would travel as far as Bicol later this year.
The 19 stations would be located at: Caloocan, Asistio Avenue, C-3 (5th Avenue), Solis, Blumentrit/Tutuban, Dapitan, EspaÃ±a, Sta. Mesa, Beata, Paco, San Andres, Vito Cruz, Buendia, Pasay Road, EDSA, FTI, Bicutan, Sucat and Alabang. The train will have a 10-minute waiting period at each stop.
Initially though, the trains would only travel from Caloocan to Sucat because the Alabang terminal is not yet ready. There are still informal settlers in the area that are still needed to be relocated, according to PNR Chair Michael Defensor.
The fare for the Tutuban to Sucat would only cost P16, â€œWe would like to make this as affordable as possible,â€ Defensor said. â€œOur thrust now is â€“ as we have seen PNR fail in the past â€“ we would like to have a very strong private sector-public sector tie-up so that this will be a continuing effort,â€ he added, as he said that the SM Corp. might come in and â€œtake over the stations.â€
But there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before the PNRâ€™s facilities and service can be considered world-class. Defensor said that President Arroyo told them to improve the surroundings and beautify them further.
While there were no more informal settlers (squatters), but the remaining eyesore that would greet commuters, like broken concrete, vandalized walls and piles of rubbish throughout the commute, just couldnâ€™t be ignored.