MRT-3 boosts operations with more trains, faster turnaround time

Commuters can expect more efficient services at the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) as more trains are expected to be deployed which means faster turnaround time ahead of the expected completion of its massive rehabilitation by yearend.

MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati said the improvements in the line were the results of the massive rehabilitation project by its Japanese maintenance contractor Sumitomo Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

"The rehabilitation project has significantly increased the number of operational trains with an all-time high of 23 running trains on its mainline recorded last January 17 from the usual 10 to 15 running trains before the maintenance started in May 2019," said Capati.

On a daily average, Capati said 66 out of the 72 light rail vehicles (LRVs) are operating on the MRT-3 line, while the remaining six are undergoing general overhauling.

The operating speed of MRT-3 trains also increased and can now reach 60 kilometers per hour -- at least double from its previous 30 kilometers per hour operational speed.

With the increase in train speed, Capati said the headway or waiting time between trains at stations was also trimmed from four minutes to 3.5 minutes -- another improvement from the previous eight minutes to 9.5 minutes waiting time for passengers.

The MRT-3 rehabilitation project also sped-up travel time from the North Avenue Station to the Taft Avenue Station from an hour and 15 minutes to 45 minutes only.

Capati said replacements of rails at the mainline were also completed in December 2020. He said that the accomplishments were two months ahead of the target date of February 2021.

Meanwhile, Capati said the installation of the signalling system is now at 78.3% completion rate, the public address system is now 100% complete, and all the 46 escalator units and 34 elevators at stations are fully operational.