LEGAZPI CITY – The Philippine National Railways (PNR) station in Ligao City, Albay province reopened on Monday, providing an improved transportation experience and lower fare costs to passengers.
Albay 3rd District Rep. Fernando Cabredo, in an interview, said the PNR trip enhances the connectivity of Ligao City with Naga City in Camarines Sur, which is expected to boost economic growth in the two provinces.
"This will open more opportunities to different town stations and flag stops. It will also bring potential tourism collaborations, regional integrational and environmental benefits, particularly for residents of Ligao City," Cabredo said.
Jason Gonzales, a government employee who travels every day from Albay to Camarines Sur, said the PNR trip will trim down his travel time.
"Mas madali na ang biyahe, ma-trim down na siya to one hour compared to two to three hours, mas madami na magagawa and hindi na hassle and pag biyahe (The trip is now easier, it will be trimmed down to one hour compared to two to three hours, more can be done and the trip is no longer a hassle)," Gonzales said.
He said the cost of transportation is also now more affordable at PHP115 from PHP160.
Angelle Roa Relleve, a nurse from Oas town, said the reopening of the PNR trip is something she is excited about.
"The transportation service is available and affordable to all. It will provide easy access to all, particularly to our farmers in buying and selling their agricultural products," she said in a message.
Relleve expects and hopes that the PNR trip will have more schedules for added convenience to passengers.
Lorilie Rafael, a teacher from Guinobatan town, said commuters will also benefit from safer travel.
"Aside from affordable fare cost, we can ensure that we are safe. Nowadays, road accidents are very rampant. With PNR, we are traveling safely, comfortably and faster," Rafael said.
After six years of non-operation, the PNR train departed from the Ligao Station at 5:30 a.m.
There are nine town stations in between the two localities.
The train uses a diesel hydraulic locomotive with five coaches that can carry over 1,300 passengers.
Every day, the first PNR trip from Ligao to Naga will leave at 5:30 a.m. and will be followed by a second trip at 5:30 p.m. from Naga to Ligao.
The cheapest fare is PHP15 for the first station and goes up to PHP105 for the last train station.
Students, senior citizens and persons with disabilities can avail a 20-percent discount.
It can be recalled that the PNR suspended its Albay-Camarines Sur route in 2017 due to the lack of rolling stock. (PNA)