Are 48 trains usable? DOTr chief says audit complete but…
After remaining silent for over a month on the status of the independent audit conducted on 48 Dalian trains bought from China to augment the existing Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 fleet, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) finally confirmed that the review had been completed.
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, however, refused to say whether the brand-new trains were found to be usable by TUV Rheinland, which also looked at the entire MRT 3 system.
All Tugade said on Wednesday was that the Dalian trains were noncompliant with the terms of reference (TOR) for their purchase, but whether this was “substantive and prejudicial to the safety and comfort of passengers” has yet to be determined.
The DOTr also refused to say which points in the TOR were not complied with, saying only that the audit findings would be disclosed once discussions with parties concerned were finalized.
Tugade’s disclosure came amid mounting pressure on the DOTr to release the audit findings following the indictment of former Transport Secretary Joseph Abaya for graft over the supposedly unusable Dalian trains and the recurring breakdowns plaguing MRT 3.
On Tuesday, another glitch—an electrical motor failure—forced a southbound train to unload around 850 passengers at the Guadalupe station due to electrical motor failure.
The incident brought the number of glitches suffered by Metro Manila’s busiest train line to over 50 since the start of the year.
The Dalian trains, bought under the Aquino administration, have yet to be added to the fleet of operational MRT 3 trains because of alleged safety issues and track incompatibility.
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