The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3) has set another record-high number of trains deployed in its rail line history, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Monday.
According to the DOTr, the MRT-3 has broken its own record for the highest number of running trains deployed on its mainline after it fielded 23 train sets on Sunday, January 17.
“This was the first time that the MRT-3 deployed total running trains of this figure, after it first recorded an all-time high of 22 running trains last September 21, 2020,” the DOTr said in a statement.
MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati said the increase in the number of trains deployed helps in augmenting the capacity of the rail line to load more passengers amid public transport restrictions due to the pandemic.
“We have been working doubly hard to deliver better and more efficient railway transportation to our passengers. Our recent achievements only show that we are committed 100% and are on track to fulfill the vision of [DOTr] Secretary Arthur Tugade — a comfortable and reliable public transportation for all,” Capati added.
In December last year, the MRT-3 hiked its train operating speed to 60 kilometers per hour (kph) from the previous 50 kph — reducing the average headway or waiting time between trains from 8.5 to 9 minutes to only 3.5 to 4 minutes.
Travel time from North Avenue station to Taft station has also been cut to 45 to 50 minutes from an hour and 15 minutes, the management added.
Capati emphasized that the increase in train speed and number of deployed trains is a result of good maintenance service and replacement of rails in the entire mainline, which was completed in September 2020, several months ahead of its scheduled February 2021 completion.
These are part of the MRT-3’s massive rehabilitation project that is slated for completion this 2021 by its maintenance provider Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan.
Following the new record, the rail line also launched on Monday its own contact tracing web app called “MRT-3 Trace” which aims to digitize the manual process of contact tracing for train passengers.
Through MRT-3 Trace, passengers will just have to scan a quick response (QR) code located at designated areas in the station using their smartphones. The user will then present the verification message to the security personnel before entering the station.
Apart from easing the contact tracing process, the new web app will also lessen contact among passengers and will reduce possible transmission of the coronavirus disease between train riders and personnel.
The MRT-3 added that it is continuously enforcing strict health and safety protocols inside the trains including the “Seven Commandments” in public transport such as wearing of face masks and face shields, no talking and making phone calls, no eating, keeping PUVs well-ventilated, frequent disinfection, no symptomatic passengers, and observing physical distancing rule.