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September 12, 2020

Less Distance Between Commuters, Standing Room to be Allowed in PUVs Starting on Monday

Social distancing will soon leave the chatroom as The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the proposal to reduce the physical distance between commuters.

Be prepared to bring a tape measure as Starting Monday, September 14, the physical distance between commuters will be reduced to 0.75 meters between commuters, before being reduced to 0.5 meters after two weeks, and 0.3 meters after another two weeks.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) explained that with the mandatory use of face shields and masks, the physical distance between commuters can be “optimized”.

For railway lines, the expected increase in passenger capacity is supported by data based on physical simulation. Below is the “Adjusted Passenger Capacity of Railway Lines Based on Reduced Physical Distancing” per trainset:

  • 1-meter: 155
  • 0.75-meter: 204
  • 0.5-meter: 255
  • 0.3-meter: 300
  • 1-meter: 160
  • 0.75-meter: 212
  • 0.5-meter: 274
  • 0.3-meter: 502
  • 1-meter: 153
  • 0.75-meter: 204
  • 0.5-meter: 255
  • 0.3-meter: 286
  • 1-meter: 166
  • 0.75-meter: 184
  • 0.5-meter: 256
  • 0.3-meter: 320
Meanwhile, for class 2 modern PUVs and public utility buses, optimizing the physical distance between passengers inside the vehicles will mean that standing passengers may be accommodated.

As for airlines and passenger ferries, optimizing the physical distance between passengers will mean more passengers being allowed to enter airports and seaports.

This will also mean an increase in the passenger load capacity on roll-on-roll-off passenger vessels, as follows:
  • 1-meter: 50 percent
  • 0.75-meter: 75 percent
  • 0.5-meter: 85 percent
  • 0.3-meter: 100 percent
If the reduction in social distancing between commuters is proven effective, it may mean the resumption of the Number Coding Scheme in Metro Manila once more. It must be remembered that the Number Coding Scheme was suspended, except in Makati City due to the lack of public transportation options during this period of General Community Quarantine.

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