By Glen S. Ramos
MANILA — The Philippine National Railways (PNR) San Pablo-Lucena Inter-provincial Commuter Service will finally reopen on Saturday, 25 June 2022, and the re-launch will be led by no less than President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Transportation Secretary Arthur M. Tugade.
The PNR San Pablo-Lucena commuter line ceased operations in October 2013 after the collapse of an abutment or its supporting structure. It is part of the rail line expansion program for 2022 which will extend PNR’s train service in region 4.
The San Pablo-Lucena line stretches 44 kilometers with two main stations and four flag stops initially. It will be serving four municipalities and one city in the provinces of Laguna and Quezon.
Before the Duterte administration assumed office in 2016, the PNR only had 36 operating stations and 93 kilometers of railway. With the revival of the San Pablo-Lucena line, the PNR is venturing into another railway line expansion making 52 operating stations and 154 kilometers of railway serving Metro Manila, Laguna, Quezon, and Camarines Sur.
“It is vital in restoring the PNR Bicol or “Bicol Express,” which connects Metro Manila to Southern Luzon provinces, including Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, and Sorsogon,” Tugade stated.
“Once it opens, travel time between San Pablo in Laguna and Lucena in Quezon will be cut to 30 minutes from the usual one hour.”
The PNR San Pablo-Lucena line will usher in economic and tourism growth in the provinces of Laguna, Quezon, and nearby areas. It is likewise another fulfillment of the mandate of the Duterte administration to provide the Filipino people with a more comfortable and convenient life through enhanced connectivity and mobility across the archipelago. (ai/mtvn)