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DOTC: MRT-3 express train to start experimental run May 7

The Metro Rail Transit's Express Train scheme will start its experimental run on Wednesday, the Department of Transportation and Communications said.

DOTC spokesman Michael Sagcal said the run will start with southbound trips from May 7 to 13, and both northbound and southbound trips from May 14 to 20.

In a post on his Twitter account, he said the schedule will be as follows:

- May 7 to 13: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. southbound
- May 14 to 20: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. southbound; 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. northbound

The 7 a.m.-9 a.m. trains will have routes that include North Avenue, Quezon Avenue-Kamuning-Cubao (alternating), Buendia, Ayala, Magallanes, and Taft.

On the other hand, the 5 p.m.-7 p.m. trains will stop at Taft, Magallanes-Ayala-Buendia (alternating), Cubao, Kamuning, Quezon Avenue and North Avenue.

Sagcal said the express trains will be deployed during rush hour, but added this is "still experimental and subject to assessment."

Sagcal said the express trains will be deployed alternately with regular trains. He said there would be 15 express train trips each for the 7 a.m.-9 a.m. and 5 p.m.-7 p.m. time periods.

The implementation of the express trains was originally set for April 30, but the scheme was put on hold. A Philippines News Agency report on said the DOTC had needed a briefing on the scheme.

In an earlier interview, MRT 3 general manager Al Vitangcol said that the MRT carries 560,000 passengers on average per day, much higher than its original design capacity, which Vitangcol pegged at 320,000 passengers per day.

MRT-3 connects North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City via Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA). — Joel Locsin/BM, GMA News