Commuters to wait for at least a year before seeing improvement in MRT – DOTr
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) expects an improvement in the operations of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) by the third quarter of next year with the recent signing of the P18-billion loan agreement for its rehabilitation, between the Philippines and Japan.
“The P18-billion loan agreement between the Philippine and Japanese governments will address the persisting problems of the MRT-3 and improve its systems to deliver a fast, reliable, and safe transportation to commuters,” DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said in a statement on Friday.
“We expect the MRT-3 to be restored to its original condition after 26 months,” Batan added.
The MRT-3 seeks to maintain its current average capacity of 350,000 commuters daily for the first seven to nine months of the rehabilitation.
Capacity is expected to gradually increase beginning the third quarter of next year, he said.
Batan projected that the speed of the MRT trains would improve from 30 km. per hour (kph) to 60 kph with its headway time reduced from the current seven minutes to 3.5 minutes.
“Our trains, which at times get stalled, are currently at 15 train sets during peak hours. We aim to increase these to 20,” he said.
The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed on Wednesday the 38 billion Japanese yen or P18 billion loan agreement for the MRT-3 rehabilitation project.
The project includes the repair and maintenance of the system’s electromechanical components, power supply, rail tracks, and depot equipment, and overhaul of its 72 light rail vehicles.
The upgrade of the MRT-3 will take about 43 months, with the first 26 months focused on the rehabilitation of the entire system. (PNA)