An MRT Dalian train on a test run (PNA photo)
What could have eased the inevitable massive traffic jam in EDSA is the efficiency of MRT3 that runs along the highway.
But for the past year, it is operating only half of its maximum capacity.
MRT3 management operates an average of 13-15 trains daily at 30 kph, which is lower than the supposed 20-22 trains on the line at 60kph.
The management decided to decrease the number of running trains to give way for rehabilitation and repair of the cars, which began February of this year and will end two years from now. However, the administration says that the railway’s maximum performance may not be met soon.
The number of passengers the railway services dropped by half at 300,000 in the first half of 2019, which means half of the volume of MRT riders sought an alternative on EDSA.
To help alleviate the worsening traffic flow in EDSA, the MRT3 is looking into extending their operating hours.
Last year, the management decided to cut 30 minutes from the operating hours in the morning. This is another strategy for the railway to give an extra half an hour to maintenance and systems inspection before revenue hours.
“One consideration: pinagaaralan namin ang extension ng oras baka kakailanganin,” MRT3 Director Michael Capati said.
He added that there wouldn’t be any additional trains these “ber” months because of the ongoing rehabilitation.
Capati disclosed that they have completed testing three Dalian train sets with four cars and that these are ready for deployment. An additional 10 to 15 thousand passengers may be serviced if these trains are added to the line.
“We are doing our best to make sure mainsert namin ang Dalian. I believe meron nang communications doon. It’s a top management issue pero kami po ready we have already accepted train sets.” Capati stated.
The incident last September 6, where MRT3’s services were cut for hours, proved how the railway directly affects the traffic on EDSA.
“Sukdulan bumaba ang aming ridership as long as yung safety ng ridership ang aming iniisip. Kahit po wala akong ilabas na tren kung hindi safe rather than i-risk ko ang safety ng pasahero.” Capati said.
The management cannot give its assurance that a glitch may not happen again soon. (Jasper Camilo)