October 17, 2020
Pursuant to the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet to approve the recommendations of the Economic Development Council (EDC) to aid in economic recovery, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has instructed the DOTr railways sector to increase the maximum passenger capacity of trains to accommodate more commuters.
In this light, the MRT-3 will increase its maximum passenger capacity from the current 13 percent (51 pax per train car, 153 passengers per train set,) to 30 percent (124 pax per train car, 372 passengers per train set), starting on Monday.
“We will do this to help transport more people. In addition to increasing our train capacity, our passengers can also expect more trains to be deployed along the mainline, shorter waiting time, and faster travel time. This is part of DOTr and MRT-3’s commitment to provide a more efficient and improved service to our passengers,” MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati said.
“The increase in train capacity is a timely boost for the MRT-3, as the public demands higher number of public transportation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Capati added.
To complement the increase in transport capacity, strict health and safety protocols (7 commandments) recommended by health experts will be enforced inside the trains.
These 7 commandments include: 1) Wear face masks and face shields; 2) No talking and making telephone calls; 3) No eating; 4) Keep PUVs well-ventilated; 5) Conduct of frequent disinfection; 6) No symptomatic passengers; and 7) Observe appropriate physical distancing rule.
Meanwhile, to ensure faster commute and reduced train headway, MRT-3 is working on the deployment of more train sets.
It can be recalled that the MRT-3 was able to deploy 22 train sets along its mainline on September 21, the highest number of running trains recorded in history.
The MRT-3 was able to increase its train speed from 30kph to 40kph on October 1 after the installation of new long-welded rails was completed in all MRT-3 stations, as part of the rehabilitation program of the rail line being implemented by Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy from Japan.
MRT-3 operating speed is expected to gradually increase from 40kph in October to 50 kph by November, and 60 kph by December. DOTr-MRT3