MRT 3 eyes longer running time for holidays
With traffic expected to worsen during the holiday season, officials of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 said on Thursday that they were considering extending its operations by an hour to help Edsa commuters.
However, this will mean cutting by an hour the MRT 3’s scheduled rehabilitation done during off-revenue hours (11 p.m. to 3 a.m.), which may affect its overall operations, according to MRT 3 operations director Michael Capati.
He said their options were either to extend the train system’s revenue hours or to increase the number of running trains. Both, however, would impede the ongoing four-year rehabilitation program to restore the MRT 3 to its original condition.
The MRT 3’s coaches are currently being overhauled courtesy of an P18-million loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. With the completion of the program, the MRT 3 management expects the average number of deployed trains to rise to 20, with a speed of 30 kilometers per hour.
Another option, Capati said, was to deploy the 16 Dalian trains sitting idle at the MRT 3 depot despite being cleared of compatibility issues. So far, only three have completed their 1,000-km validation run and 150-hour pilot test, making these ready to be deployed “within a few days’ notice,” he added.
But first, they would need a go signal from both the Department of Transportation and the Japanese consortium, Sumitomo-Mitsubishi-TESP, to operate the China-made trains.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority projects that around 1,000 vehicles are added daily during the “Ber” months, which would place the average daily traffic on Edsa at around 450,000 vehicles by December.
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