Manila, Philippines

Is The MRT Crowd Control Scheme Working?

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So is it working? Commuters are dying este dying to know, is it working?
It has been more than a month since MRT implemented a new crowd control scheme. In the new scheme, queues in MRT North Avenue station were reduced and volume of people entering the station was greatly regulated (max 500 at a time they say), thereby causing very very very long lines outside the station. The objective is to discourage commuters from flocking to MRT North Avenue station (where it used to be a bit easier and bit faster to get into a train), and to give better riding chances to people waiting in succeeding stations (e.g. Quezon Ave, Kamuning, etc).

IMG_0200.JPG by brownpau, on Flickr

After more than a month, I hope MRT provides us with realistic and unbiased updates on whether this scheme is indeed working.

Of course irate customers flooded the social media to express their disgust and irritation. Understood, people are naturally resistant to change, and in fairness to MRT, maybe we can give them time to see if this change works. Now, that time is up. So please, MRT get back to us with your assessment.

Personally, the “discourage commuters” part is indeed working. My queueing time just to get inside the station is now 45 minutes minimum (used to be 30 minutes, tops) in a very dusty and carbon-monoxide laden roadside, because there are now just 2 lines in Trinoma side from previous 4. And these lines no longer enter via the northbound gates, but instead cross the overpass and merge with the southbound lines, all entering via the southbound gates.Given the fewer lines and multiple “stop entry,” Juan will find the end of the queue at the trembling overpass in front of SM North EDSA mall. I don’t think these structures were made to hold a lot of people for a long time. It’s for crossing, not for queueing! Just a few more somersaults and Juan will join the end of the queues from southbound side.

Travel time has greatly increased. But in fairness to them, getting inside a train is now a bit faster since the platforms are no longer crowded. But still, does that compensate for the increased waiting time outside the stations? In my experience, no. My overall travel time increased in spite of me leaving 30 minutes earlier than usual.

And is this crowd control scheme in place in the succeeding stations?

Commuting via the MRT has become more and more discouraging. Even my town mates who used to ride the shuttles going to Trinoma / North Ave station, now queue for shuttles going to Cubao. So is it now easier to line up and get inside the MRT Cubao station instead? Anyone?

I’d like to raise this again. Have we considered a MRT segregation scheme similar to MMDA’s Bus Segregation scheme? Again, anyone?

P.S. The new train purchases are targeted to be available in 2 years time. Plus all the road constructions lined up for the year and years to come. God have mercy.

P.S.S. Oh, and that’s just getting to work. Getting home from work via MRT is a whole new (mis)adventure!
Photo: Image_0200 by  brownpau 

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