Reports of MRT train breakdowns have become as regular as the weather. In 2017, the shabby metro rail system, which serves thousands of passengers each day, reportedly suffered at least 500 disruptions.
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DOTr: Shutting down MRT-3 for rehab not an option
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - May 24, 2018 - 2:05pm

MANILA, Philippines — Suspending the operations of Metro Rail Transit to rehabilitate the overstretched rail system is not an option, the Department of Transportation said Thursday.

“People will say 'stop the MRT, repair it first'. Are you kidding me? If I stop the MRT and you have a daily passenger usage of 280,000—you want me to stop? Of course, I will not stop,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said during the Asia CEO Forum.

“Why? Because the technical people told us it is not yet in a position that is life threatening. It will create inconvenience but not life threatening,” he added.

Tugade's predecessor, Joseph Emilio Abaya, was pilloried on social media in 2015 when he dismissed Manila's traffic problem as "not fatal." 

According to the Transportation chief, unloading incidents have been minimized after the DOTr brought in more spare parts and hired engineers to conduct “preventive maintenance system” that he said was “forgotten in the past.”

Reports of MRT train breakdowns have become as regular as the weather. In 2017, the shabby metro rail system, which serves thousands of passengers each day, reportedly suffered at least 500 disruptions.

DOTr early this month said the government and Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, signed the final details on the estimated project cost, scope of works and schedule of the MRT rehabilitation.

Based on the discussions, upgrading the MRT, which is estimated to cost ¥34.480 billion (P16.985 billion), will take 43 months.

Last year, the government terminated its contract with Busan Universal Rail Inc., the MRT-3 service provider, due to alleged poor performance.

ARTHUR TUGADE METRO RAIL TRANSIT LINE
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