DOTC still hoping to get new MRT trains by 2015

Posted at 02/18/14 2:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is still hoping it will soon be allowed to add 48 new trains to the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3), in order to ease commuters' woes.

A court has issued a temporary order of protection based on a petition filed by Metro Rail Transit Holdings II, Inc., which prevented the DOTC from pursuing the MRT-3 expansion project.

"We hope that the order preventing us from adding brand new LRVs (light rail vehicles) will be lifted immediately, for the public’s sake. The DOTC will be able to increase MRT-3’s capacity within 2 to 3 years starting from the time that the court allows us to proceed. Since more passengers will be able to take the train, EDSA traffic should be mitigated considerably,” said DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal in a statement.

The DOTC had awarded the contract for the supply of new trains to China’s Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company in January.

Aquiring additional trains would increase the MRT-3's trips per hour from 20 to 24. This means 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 use the rail service.

At present, the MRT-3's average daily ridership is already over 560,000.

However, Sagcal said it would take two to three years for the new trains to be delivered.

"The Project will take 2 to 3 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. This means that traffic decongestion can already start by 2015. All we’re waiting for is the court’s go signal," he said.