PNR San Pablo-Lucena line reopens

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 26) — The Philippine National Railways’ commuter line between San Pablo, Laguna and Lucena, Quezon reopened on Sunday.

“Starting Sunday, 26 June 2022, the said PNR line will once again serve passengers going to and from Laguna and Quezon. It can serve up to 3,683 passengers at any given time,” the DOTr said in a statement released Saturday.

In October 2013, the San Pablo-Lucena line stopped operating after the collapse of its supporting structure.

The DOTr said the reopening of the San Pablo-Lucena line is vital in restoring the PNR Bicol line, which connects Metro Manila to the provinces in the south, including Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, and Sorsogon.

The commuter line, which stretches 44 kilometers, cuts travel time between San Pablo and Lucena to 30 minutes from one hour by land. It has two main stations and four flag stops, the DOTr added.

Meanwhile, outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte urged transport officials “to continue leading the improvement of the railways system” in his speech during the formal reopening of the San Pablo-Lucena line.

Last Thursday, Executive Secretary-designate Vic Rodriguez confirmed that President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. would appoint former Philippine Airlines President Jaime “Jimmy” Bautista as the next transportation secretary and former Light Rail Transport Authority Deputy Administrator Cesar Chavez as the undersecretary-designate for rails.

In a statement released on Sunday, outgoing Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade welcomed the selection of Bautista and urged the public to trust and support Marcos’ decision.

“I personally know my successor, Jimmy Bautista. We have long years of association and friendship. His professionalism, experience, dedication, and hard work will certainly augur well in his being the Secretary of Transportation. In the best of my abilities and capabilities, I shall assist in however way asked and needed,” Tugade said.

He added that the DOTr will ensure a “smooth, full, and transparent transition” that is geared towards the success of the next administration.