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MRT gets near failing mark from commuters

Marvin Sy - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Filthy toilets, non-functioning escalators and elevators and long lines have led commuters to give the MRT-3 stations a grade that could be considered as less than acceptable.

A commuters’ survey prepared and presented by the Senate subcommittee on public services led by Sen. Grace Poe on their overall experience riding the MRT-3 everyday showed an average grade of 3.83 for the 13 stations, using the grading system of the University of the Philippines.

Under that particular grading system, a grade of 1.0 to 1.25 is considered excellent, 1.50 to 1.75 is very good, 2.0 to 2.25 is good, 2.5 to 2.75 is satisfactory, 3.0 is passing, 4.0 is conditional failure and 5.0 is failed.

Of the 13 stations, four were given a grade of 5.0 – GMA-Kamuning, Cubao, Shaw Boulevard and Taft Avenue.

Four others – Quezon Avenue, Ortigas, Boni Avenue and Guadalupe – were given a 4.0, while North Avenue and Buendia got a grade of 3.0.

The Santolan-Annapolis station received a grade of 2.75 while Ayala and Magallanes stations got a grade of 2.5.

An inspection was conducted by the subcommittee on the MRT-3 line that went along with the commuters’ survey.

Six aspects were used as basis for the inspection, namely the queue, comfort rooms, escalator/elevator, ease of travel/comfort while riding, air-conditioning system and total riding experience.

The subcommittee noted that queues going into the stations were different for each station but in general, they were long and very slow moving.

For stations such as Shaw Boulevard, Ayala and Magallanes, it was noted that commuters had to wait for one and half to two hours to board the train.

Regarding comfort rooms, the subcommittee pointed out some were filthy with the flushing mechanisms broken, the faucets barely had running water and many were clearly poorly maintained.

For most of the stations, either the elevators or escalators or both were not working.

While on the train, the commuters complained the coaches were packed and felt like they were in a can of sardines.

Some of the commuters said that the handrails installed were not enough.

As far as the air-conditioning system was concerned, the commuters noted the temperature inside the coaches was generally satisfactory.

However, there were several instances when the air-conditioning was off or very weak and could not handle the huge volume of passengers.

A general observation given by the commuters was that riding the MRT was a bad experience, but they just had to live with it because they had no choice.

During yesterday’s hearing on the issues surrounding the MRT-3, Poe emphasized the rehabilitation of the system must be undertaken at the soonest possible time in order to ensure the safety of commuters.

“We should not rest on our luck. It was clear that the rails should have been replaced in 2010 and they should be replaced already,” Poe said.

AYALA AND MAGALLANES BONI AVENUE AND GUADALUPE COMMUTERS GRACE POE GRADE NORTH AVENUE AND BUENDIA QUEZON AVENUE SHAW BOULEVARD SHAW BOULEVARD AND TAFT AVENUE STATIONS
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