IN order to understand better the current situation of the Metro Rail Transit 3, Sen. Grace Poe rode an MRT 3 coach on Friday and just like everybody else she, too, experienced how difficult it was to get a ride in the mass transport system.
Poe had decided to make an unannounced visit to the MRT 3 line in preparation for the Senate public works committee hearing on September 1 on recent disruptions of MRT 3 services.
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara has filed a resolution calling for a Senate investigation, in particular, of the August 13 incident that injured 38 passengers when a wayward MRT 3 train overshot the tracks at the Taft Avenue station in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
Poe began her journey at the train system’s North Avenue station in Quezon City, the first station of MRT 3 for south-bound passengers.
The senator arrived at the vicinity of the station around 8:20 a.m. but it took her 40 minutes before she was able to board a coach because of a queue that had formed long before she joined it.
“My ticket was stuck in the machine and a security guard had to manually open it to retrieve my ticket,” Poe said.
According to the senator, she took the MRT 3 coach exclusive for women, children and senior citizens, which she described to be pleasant.
But she later found out that train officials prevented passengers from rushing to the coaches after receiving information that she was inside the train.
The train ride took more then an hour from the North Avenue station to the MRT 3 Taft Avenue station in Pasay City.
“Taft station was orderly but again the escalator there was not working. Some passengers also told me that the elevators in some stations don’t work and PWDs [persons with disability]are having trouble getting to the station,” Poe said.
Despite of the inconvenience she personally experienced, the senator still expressed optimism that the MRT 3 is not a hopeless case as long as its management exerts serious effort to improve the train system.
“Officials should take the MRT 3 once in a while so they will know better how to improve the system,” Poe said.