THE resumption of operations at Santolan, Katipunan, and Anonas stations of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) was delayed to September due to the pandemic, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) said Tuesday.

In a virtual briefing, LRTA Spokesperson Hernando T. Cabrera said the three stations were originally due to return to operations next month, but repairs to the power system were disrupted by the lockdown.

He said the new target is for the procurement of the temporary power supply system to get going by June.

“We hope by June masimulan ulit natin ‘yung (to once more start the) procurement process and award within June. (The contractors will) have until end-September para magawa ‘yung tinatawag na temporary power supply system (to set up the temporary power system),” he said.

The LRTA, which operates LRT-2, halted operations at the three stations after a fire in October.

Meanwhile, the East Extension of the LRT-2 is expected to be completed by December. “By Q1 2021, magagamit na ‘yung mga stations (the stations will be ready for use by the first quarter of 2021),” Mr. Cabrera said, referring to Emerald Station in Marikina City and Masinag Station at the Masinag Junction in Antipolo City.

The East Extension is expected to add 80,000 passengers to the LRT-2’s current 240,000 daily ridership, which currently connects Recto Avenue in Manila to Santolan station in Marikina.

When completed, travel time from Recto to Masinag is expected to be 40 minutes, as against three hours bus or jeepney, according to the Transportation department.

The consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corp. and engineering and construction firm D.M. Consunji, Inc. are in charge of the $62-million East Extension Project.

D.M. Consunji is in charge of the trackwork procurement and construction, as well as the installation of electrical and mechanical systems. — Arjay L. Balinbin