• Palace vows improved MRT 3 services next year

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    PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday vowed to provide better and improved services by next year for hundreds of thousands of commuters using the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3).

    “Currently, the process is ongoing for widespread and systematic improvements of the MRT 3 ystem,” he said, noting that the government is expecting the arrival of 48 new coaches in September next year.

    According to him, the mass transport system’s automatic fare collection system (ACFS), which will be 50-percent complete by next year, is guaranteed to reduce the time spent by passengers buying and getting tickets.

    The ACFS, a tap-and-go ticketing scheme for the MRT3 and the Light Rail Transit 1 and L:RT 2, is envisioned to improve passenger comfort and convenience by cutting queuing time and allowing smooth transfers from one rail line to another.

    The President said the areas for queuing will be expanded for the convenience of commuters and railway tracks will be improved to ensure passenger safety.

    “Of course, the power system will also be upgraded because the trains will be consuming more electricity. The new signal system will also be fixed, in order to ensure speedier arrivals at the station and safer journeys,” Aquino added.

    With the improvements, he said he expects that more commuters will be able to ride the train every day without having to experience congestion.

    The President added that he has long wanted to see these improvements carried out but doing studies on how to improve the light railway system and finding funds took time.

    He also noted that the procurement process alone takes four to six months.

    “I hope everybody understands that we need time to implement this, that when all this is over, we will have an improved public transport system, and we can also expect traffic to lighten because fewer people will choose to ride their own cars,” Aquino said.

    Last April, the government signed a concession agreement with Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp. for the P1.72-billion single ticketing project for the MRT 3, LRT 1 and LRT 2.

    The project is under the public-private partnership scheme.

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