MRT-3 to launch contact tracing app

Published January 12, 2021, 7:20 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) will launch next week its own contact tracing web application to upgrade the railway’s manual contact tracing to a digitized process as part of its efforts to further prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the rail sector.

MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati said the web app, to be called “MRT-3 Trace,” was developed by their Support Division personnel to speed up the tedious manual contact tracing process and to avoid direct contact between the passengers and the rail line staff.

“MRT-3 Trace is a web application that will help us and the passengers avoid further transmission of the virus through direct contact between our commuters and personnel. It will ease the process of contact tracing,  and thus, prevent long queues in stations,” Capati said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to Capati, the contact tracing app is also the management’s support in the vision of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to digitize transaction processes, including contact tracing, in all transport sectors to curb the spread of the virus.

Capati said passengers can use the MRT-3 Trace starting January 18 during its soft-launching. However, the transport official noted that they will be given more time to download the system and adapt to the new app before its full implementation in February.

To register using the new app, passengers may log at and fill out the basic information such as full name, birth date, address, and contact number.

After registration, the app user should activate the smartphone location services. When at the MRT-3, passengers need to scan the unique quick response (QR) code located at designated areas in the station.

The user will present the verification message to the security personnel before entering the station. 

“All information gathered will be transmitted to the MRT-3’s Data Center for security and easy tracing of individuals. The MRT-3 Trace is compliant with Republic Act 1017 or the Data Privacy Act,” Capati added.

The MRT-3 management emphasized that registration in the app is free of charge. It also only requires a one-time registration for passengers to avoid duplicate accounts. 

For passengers who do not have smartphones, they can also opt to manually fill-out the health declaration forms provided by the security personnel upon entering the station. 

The railway management has been strictly enforcing the minimum health standards such as the mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields and the distancing guidelines inside stations and trains since it resumed its partial operations under the general community quarantine last year.

To further prevent the possible spread of the disease, the MRT-3 management said answering phone calls and any digital devices, as well as speaking to other passengers while inside the train are also prohibited.

“The additional guidelines apply because respiratory droplets that come from speaking, coughing, and sneezing can cause coronavirus infection,” the MRT-3 earlier explained.