DOTr assures no MRT fare hike until improvements show
There will be no fare increase for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line until improvements in the deteriorating rail transit line are observed and felt, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) assured commuters on Thursday.
TJ Batan, DOTr OIC undersecretary for railways, said there would be no fare increase as there was no substantial improvement in the MRT’s operations.
Batan assured that the MRT management remains working to restore convenience for thousands of the transit line’s commuters.
“Ang commitment po natin sa sektor ng riles ay hindi po tayo magtataas ng pasahe na hindi po nakakaramdam ang ating mga commuter ng improvement sa convenience, availability at reliability po ng ating mga sistema,” Batan said in a statement.
(Our commitment in the railway sector is that there will be no increase in fare unless the commuters feel the improvements for their convenience, availability and reliability.
“Hindi lang po dito sa MRT-3, kundi sa lahat ng sistema ng riles,” he added.
(Not only here at the MRT-3, but also in all the rail system.)
This, as Batan said that the DOTr hired an independent safety auditor to decide whether or not they would accept the 48 new light rail vehicles (LRV) procured from Chinese railway firm CRRC Dalian.
“With the current fleet of Czech-made trains, MRT-3 can operate up to 20 three-car trains. If the 48 LRVs are cleared to run, that can be increased to 20 four-car trains,” Batan said.
However, it was discovered that the Dalian train coaches exceeded the weight limit for the MRT’s rails and were incompatible with the transit line’s maintenance and signaling systems.
“We will not in any way try to influence their independent assessment of the 48 cars from Dalian, at tayo po ay magdedesisyon base po sa kanilang recommendation (and we are going to issue a decision based on their recommendation),” Batan said.
“Kung sasabihin po nila na puwede po iyang patakbuhin ng kaagad-agaran, we will consider. Kung sasabihin po nila ay patatakbuhin yan na may kinakailangang adjustments, we will consider, of course not at our expense. At kung sasabihin po nila na kailangang ibalik yan, ibabalik po natin yan,” he added.
(If they affirm to run the trains, we will consider. If they say to run the train with some adjustments, we will consider, of course not at our expense. And if they say to return them, we will return them.)/jpv
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