It was a manic Monday for commuters as the first trip of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) was delayed by more than an hour because of a power supply failure in its northern stations.
MRT-3 operations normally start at 5:30 a.m. but trains were only deployed at 6:50 a.m. because a power failure hit the North Avenue and GMA-Kamuning stations, northbound.
The delay caused long queues, with some commuters taking Point-to-Point or P2P buses, while others took the free rides of the Metro Manila Development Authority that deployed 6×6 trucks.
“The power supply failure was due to intertwined wires; the stringed new feeder wire made contact with the outrun messenger wire affecting the supply of 750Vdc (volt direct currency) of electricity needed to run the trains,” the DOTr explained.
The MRT-3, the capital’s busiest railway with an average of 500,000 riders daily, had been operating below target capacity in recent weeks.
Officials had said that spare parts would arrive in February so more trains can be deployed.
“They should change their operating rules, fix the trains which are now very old. This is really burdensome for us who need to go to work,” Joy Asuncion, a disgruntled commuter, told ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda.
The Department of Transportation is in talks with Japan’s Sumitomo for its possible return as maintenance provider of the MRT.
FRANCIS EARL A. CUETO AND REICELENE JOY N. IGNACIO