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MRT 3 rules out longer operating hours during holiday season

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 management said on Tuesday that it would not be extending operating hours during the holiday season as rail replacement works were scheduled to start next month.

MRT 3 management chief Michael Capati said in a statement that 4,053 pieces of rail tracks were currently being welded in preparation for their installation.

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The replacement process, however, will start around November, during nonrevenue hours, or the time when the MRT 3, which traverses Pasay to Quezon City, is not running.

This means that the train system will not be extending its operational hours during the Christmas season, when traffic is expected to worsen as people head for the malls.

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MRT officials expect the rail replacement works to be completed by February 2021, Capati said.

“We need to allocate enough time and resources toward replacing our rails in the last three months of this year,” he added.

According to him, “this [was] the direction that was agreed upon [based on] our coordination with and the recommendation of experts from (MRT 3) maintenance provider Sumitomo consortium.”

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority earlier said it would ask the MRT 3 management to extend operations as it expected the number of vehicles to go up by 20,000 in December, resulting in heavier traffic.

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