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MRT deploys ‘standby’ trains to ease congestion

To ease congestion in the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 system, the Department of Transportation and Communications has started deploying two additional light rail vehicles (LRVs) previously on standby at the MRT depot.

In a statement, the DOTC said such a scheme for the MRT-3 -which now has 20 instead of 18 coaches running simultaneously - could serve an additional 2,364 riders per hour.

“We welcome MRT-3’s report that it has increased the number of running coaches from 18 to 20, which translates to an increased capacity of 2,364 passengers per hour per peak direction (PPHPD). Passenger convenience is of course always a concern, so we hope this helps riders somewhat in their daily commute by reducing their queuing time and taking them to their destinations faster,” DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.

The DOTC said the additional deployment started in the first week of June on orders of OIC Honorito Chaneco. The MRT connects North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City via Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).

Citing data from the MRT-3, it said the rail system with the two additional coaches can now carry up to 20,094 passengers per hour per peak direction instead of 17,730.

Such a setup resulted in "significantly" shorter queuing times especially in congested stations, the DOTC said.

It added the long lines at street level had been cleared as early as 8 a.m.

For his part, Chaneco said one of his first priorities was to seek solutions "within the system’s limitations."

Deploying the additional coaches involved an adjustment of the trains' timetables, which took about a week, he said.

Skipping train service

Meanwhile, Chaneco said the MRT began implementing the skipping train scheme, where skipping trains bypass some stations and go directly to the more congested ones.

Such a scheme has replaced the proposed MRT Express Train service, which also aimed to move passengers faster to their destinations during the most congested times.

On the other hand, the MRT-3 management reassured the public it will continue to improve the system.

48 new coaches

The DOTC also said that from 2015 to 2017, 48 new coaches will be delivered to address the overcapacity of MRT-3.

It said the train supplier has 18 months, or until the third quarter of 2015, to deliver its prototype unit for testing. — Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News
Tags: mrt3, moretrains, lrta