PNR to cease operations in December 2023

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2) – The Philippine National Railways (PNR) will halt operations in December 2023 to give way for the construction of the ₱873.6 billion North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said the timing will be after Christmas so the public can still take the train to and from Divisoria in Manila during the holiday season.

The PNR earlier halted trips in the Alabang-Calamba route for the same reason.

READ: PNR suspends Alabang-Calamba trips for NSCR construction 

"Itinigil na muna kasi ang operasyon ng rutang Alabang-Calamba at Calamba-Alabang ng P-N-R para magbigay-daan sa konstruksyon ng ₱873.6-billion North-South Commuter Railway Project," Baustista said.

[Translation: The operation PNR route Alabang-Calamba and Calamba-Alabang will stop to give way for the construction of the ₱873.6-billion North-South Commuter Railway Project.]

He said more buses will be deployed for commuters pending the railway construction. He added that around 2,000 commuters will be affected.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board earlier said it is considering opening bus and jeep routes amid the suspension of PNR operations.

READ: LTFRB eyes opening PUV routes amid planned suspension of PNR ops 

Bautista said the railway project will provide 51 train sets for the Alabang-Calamba route and seven express train sets for the Clark, Pampanga - Ninoy Aquino International Airport route.

He added that once the project is complete, train fares will begin at ₱22 with an additional ₱2 per kilometer.

Relocation of informal settlers living along the train track will also begin next week, Bautista said.

"We're working closely with the other government agencies to relocate them. Ang maganda dito [What's good about this], most of them who will be relocated, will be relocated in the same city," he said.

The 147-kilometer NSCR project is expected to be completed by 2028. It will link Clark airport to Malolos, Bulacan and Calamba, Laguna to Blumentritt in Manila.