Kathleen Dela Paz, hired as LRT-1 1st female driver

LRT-1 commuters may be used to see man driving the train, but here comes Kathleen Dela Paz, the first female driver of LRT-1.

Kathleen Dela Paz was introduced on Tuesday by the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) as the trains’ first female driver!

Kathleen Dela PazKathleen Dela Paz

Dela Paz is a 26-year old mother of two, and started operating the trains early August.

Together with her fellow drivers, Kathleen completed a specialized training course, which included safety communication, incident/accident management, fault reporting, and basic train driving.

According to reports, LRMC Operations Director Rodrigo Bulario said, Kathleen Dela Paz was hired top demonstrate their belief that “skills and competence are not gender-specific.” The Metro Rail Transit-3 also has female train drivers.

Following the addition of more train coaches, the LRMC hired additional personnel for the LRT-1: 29 additional train drivers from the current headcount of 146; 25 station supervisors from the current 64; and 105 more station tellers from the current 370.

Reported further, LRMC said that all new hires had to fulfill strict requirements, particularly when it comes to technical competence, skills, and aptitude.

 Meanwhile, as LRT-1 serves an average of 400,000 commuters daily, LRMC proud of Service improvements amid the fare increase of the train. To wit:
  • Last July, LRT-1 operating hours were extended from 10 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. for both southbound and northbound trips.
  • The train system now has 440 trips daily, but LRMC plans to increase it to 470.
  • Lifts at LRT-1 stations have been fixed: Six escalators and two elevators at the Doroteo Jose Station and two elevators at the EDSA station are back in operation. The restored elevators and escalators have PWD-friendly features although the lifts at Monumento, Balintawak, and Roosevelt Stations have yet to be fixed.
  • Aside from station improvements, LRMC plans to bring back the track speed to 60kph from the current 40kph, once rail replacements are completed late next year.

A 10 percent fare increase though was being asked by LRMC earlier from the government which is allowed under the concession agreement signed by both parties.

The last LRT-1 fare hike was in December 2014.

Funds from the fare increase would be used to make the train system better, by improving infrastructure and rehabilitating trains, LRMC General Counsel Philip Ranada said.

But in case the fare increase fall through, Ranada said they would still continue delivering their services.

 

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