MRT-3 operations stalled anew after technical problem


Early morning trips of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) have been on Monday after one its trains experienced a technical glitch, the train management said.

MRT-3 General Manager Al Vitangcol said operations at the rail system were forced to stop at 4:45 a.m. after a train lost power and stalled while it was about to pick up passengers at the North Avenue station.

Vitangcol said four trips ahead of the distressed train were able to load passengers heading south but succeeding trips were stalled.

He said the fifth train which experienced power outage had to be towed back to the MRT depot so that other trains can head towards North Avenue station.

Train operations resumed to normal at around 5:20 a.m., Vitangcol said.

As a result, early morning passengers piled up the streets after they were temporarily not allowed to go up the stations.

The MRT started to operate an hour earlier last Feb. 24 in anticipation of the traffic jams as a result of the ongoing major government infrastructure projects. The MRT-3 normally runs its first commercial train at 5:30 a.m., while the last commercial train leaves North avenue station heading south at 10:00 p.m.

Starting today (Monday), MRT-3 will extend its operating hours in the night with the last commercial train to leave North avenue station at 10:30 p.m.; while the last commercial train to leave Pasay Rotunda station will be at 11:00 pm.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has awarded the contract to supply 48 light rail vehicles to MRT-3 as part of its capacity expansion project after it was observed that the 14-year-old mass transit system has been experiencing mechanical and technical troubles every now and then due to overloading of passengers.

The additional trains will increase MRT-3’s trips per hour from 20 to 24, which will translate to a 60 percent increase in the number of passengers per hour per direction (PPHPD). This means that, from the current 23,640 people who can avail of the rail service every hour heading towards one direction, the project will make it possible for 37,824 passengers to enjoy this convenience.

The Project will not only help ease the gridlock on EDSA, it will also make the MRT-3 experience much more bearable for its riders.

The Project will take two to three years to complete because the LRVs will still be manufactured. A prototype will be tested on the system within 12 to 18 months, followed by the delivery of 3-4 units per succeeding month.

At present, the rail line’s average daily ridership is already over 560,000, and its highest single-day passenger count is 620,000. Its original capacity is only at 350,000. PNA


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