MRT needs to rush to deliver post-Holy Week promise
The Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) management will have to work double time to fulfill its promise that there will be a total of 15 trains running on the country’s busiest train system once operations resume after the Holy Week break.
As of Sunday, the MRT 3 is just two trains short of that committed number, after the deployment of a 13th train on Friday night. The last time the MRT 3 had this many trains in operation was on Jan. 19.
The slow but steady increase in the number of operational trains had been attributed to the availability of spare parts for the coaches. So far, around 80 percent of the P16 million worth of spare parts procured last year have already been delivered by suppliers Linkers Enterprises and Nikka Trading.
Still, breakdowns continue to beset the train line as passengers have been offloaded nine times since the start of the month, as frequent as the incidents in February.
Given the current condition of the MRT and the scope of work needed to be done, the MRT 3 management extended the suspension of its operations, which will start on Holy Wednesday up to Easter Sunday.
In previous years, the MRT 3 management only has four days to conduct works on the entire train system.
Commuters, however, should not expect that once the extensive maintenance check on the train line has been completed, the Dalian trains will also be rolled out for public use.
This is because the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has yet to conduct the weight testing on the Chinese-made trains which were bought by the Aquino administration.
The MRT 3 management said the test would be done before May.
Earlier, the DOTr said the audit firm TUV Rheinland had yet to come out with a report on the P3.8-billion Dalian trains, citing the need for tests, including one that would determine if they’re heavier by more than three tons from the contract specifications, as earlier pointed out by rail officials.
Meanwhile, the Light Rail Transit 1 and 2 will suspend operations from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday.
The Philippine National Railways will also not run on those days — except on the night of Black Saturday, when it will have special trips for passengers taking the Tutuban-Calamba, Mamatid, Alabang routes starting at 6:37 p.m.
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