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MRT 3 rides to go 24 hours starting June 1

By Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:48:00 05/29/2009

Filed Under: Railway, Transport, Civil & Public Services

MANILA, Philippines ? Metro Manila commuters using the Metro Rail Transit (MRT 3) system will no longer have to join the early evening rush going home starting June 1.

The management of MRT 3 announced yesterday that it would be ?experimenting? with 24-hour operations in time for the opening of classes on June 1.

MRT 3 general manager Reynaldo I. Berroya said the 24-hour operations would be in place seven days a week.

Earlier, the MRT 3 said in a statement that the extended hours were primarily aimed at serving call center agents and other workers in the BPO (business process outsourcing) sector in support of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?s promise to help the industry.

Metro Manila commuters who often get stranded during typhoons, including students, are also seen to benefit.

Berroya, who is also assistant secretary at the Department of Transportation and Communications, said that surveys revealed that most call center agents would leave their offices at around midnight and at 4 a.m.

?At this period, most buses and jeepneys are in their garages already, and most call center agents have to wait long time for the resumption of their operation,? Berroya said.

The MRT 3 management said the facilities and trains would be secured by security guards.

Stranded

Meanwhile, some 36,000 passengers of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) were stranded yesterday for two hours when debris from a condominium construction site fell on the train tracks in Manila.

The LRT Authority lost P518,375 in revenues as the disruption of the LRT Line 1 operations coincided with the train system?s peak hours from 7:30 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.

LRTA spokesperson Tina Cacion told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the management was studying its options in going after the owners of the Victoria de Manila condominium, along Taft Avenue near Pedro Gil Street in Ermita, from where steel mesh wires and construction debris fell onto the train tracks.

?We did not have problems clearing up the debris. We had to undertake half line operations because the debris hit our catenary wires,? Cacion said, explaining that the catenary wires supply the electricity, which enables the trains to run.

The LRT had to cut off power from its UN Avenue station to Baclaran but continued to operate the Central station to Monumento trains.

With a report from Jeannette I. Andrade


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