Maintenance equipment stalled on the tracks delayed the start of MRT operations early Thursday morning.
MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol 3rd said the maintenance equipment was stuck on MRT’s southbound tracks in North Avenue station in Quezon City.
The equipment is used to ensure that the tracks are cleared for operation.
The first train was delayed by 42 minutes and rolled out at 5:12 a.m.
The delay occurred four days after the MRT implemented extended operating hours.
As a result, long lines of commuters formed at the MRT stations on North Avenue, Kamuning, Cubao, and Shaw Blvd..
Some commuters who waited for nearly an hour gave and took other public transport like buses and taxis.
Tomas Par, a frequent MRT rider, said the same problem occurs even if the trains’ schedule are extended.
“There was no improvement because pushing and shoving among passengers still happen during rush hours,” Par told The Manila Times.
MRT’s hours were extended beginning Monday in anticipation of more commuters avoiding traffic caused by simultaneous road projects in Metro Manila.
For the first two work weeks from February 24 to March 7, the MRT will start operations at 4:30 a.m. from the North Avenue station and 5 a.m. from the Taft Avenue station.
From March 10 to 21, it will extend the evening runs up to 10:30 p.m. from the North Avenue station and 11 p.m. from the Taft Avenue station.
The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) said the longer hours will be tried out for one month.
Before the extended trip schedules, the MRT operating hours are from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO