Chinese Dalian trains finally hit the tracks

Marje Pelayo   •   October 29, 2018   •   3084

FILE PHOTO: Weight testing of the new trains purchased by DOTR from China’s Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stocks Company

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – After the long wait, the new Dalian trains finally hit the train tracks on Saturday (October 27).

Though only one set of trains was made operational, its operation somehow gave an assurance that the rest of the fleet would soon ease the burden of commuters especially in Metro Manila.

The three-coach train, which passed technical assessment to include compatibility, reliability and weight test among others, ran well on Saturday according to Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan.

“Ok naman noong sinakyan natin kanina. Iyon talaga ang objective natin at makita natin ang kanyang performance,” he said.

According to the plan, one train set will be added to the daily operation of the current 18 sets of trains of MRT Line 3.

However, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified that the Dalian trains will only run during off-peak hours on weekdays and weekends.

The rest of the 45 coaches are still undergoing technical assessment and tests.

Meanwhile, the company Sumitomo will begin next week its handling of the MRT-3’s maintenance and rehabilitation works.

Sumitomo is the original maintenance provider during the initial operation of MRT Line 3.

“Pabalik na po ang ating rehabilitation and maintenance provider (ang) Sumitomo and Mitsubishi. Iyan po ay mag-uumpisa na next month. Actually in the last two weeks araw araw na po sila nandito sa depot. Ang mga tao at engineer ng Sumitomo at Mitsubishi heavy dahil full team ahead na po ang ating transition,” Batan explained.

Once Sumitomo finally takes over, it will conduct an overhauling of the trains to repair the damages.

Meanwhile, coinciding with the holiday season, the DOTr is considering an extension of the trains service’s operating hours to accommodate the surge of passengers especially mall goers and merry makers. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

DOTr clarifies: PUV Modernization will push through

Marje Pelayo   •   November 21, 2019

(L-R) DOTr Sec. Arthur P. Tugade and a fleet of modernized jeepney units

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified that it is not holding off the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

In a statement released Wednesday (November 20), the agency rectified earlier reports that it has plans to defer the said program following the Senate deliberation on the Department’s P147-billion proposed budget for 2020.

Walang sinabi ang DOTr na hindi nito itutuloy ang pagpapatupad ng PUV Modernization Program, (The DOTr did not say that it is dropping the implementation of the PUV Modernization Program),” the DOTr said in a statement.

The agency explained that what transpired during the Senate deliberation was a condition in case operators of old PUV units fail to modermize their units come July 2020.

“Ang nabanggit ay kung sakali mang mabigo ang mga operator ng mga lumang jeepney na mag-modernize ng kanilang mga unit pagsapit ng Hulyo 2020, pansamantala ay pahihintulutan muna sila ng DOTr na makapamasada sa kondisyong papasa ang kanilang mga lumang unit sa roadworthiness test sa ilalim ng technology-based Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), na walang human intervention,” the DOTr clarified.

(What was said was, in case operators of old jeepney units fail to modernize their units until July 2020, the DOTr will allow them to operate temporarily with their old units provided that their old units pass the road-worthiness test under the technology-based Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), without any human intervention.)

If they pass the MVIS, the Department said, “the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will grant them Provisional Authority (PA) valid for one year only, as they need to undergo road worthiness check via MVIS every year as well.”

To secure a PA, PUV operators need to submit a petition for consolidation on or before June 30, 2020 including a petition expressing their intention to join the PUVMP.

If they fail to submit on deadline, the “prior operator rule” will lapse and their franchise will be given to cooperatives who are PUVMP compliant.

“Oras na may PUVMP-compliant na kooperatiba o korporasyon na ang mabigyan ng prangkisa sa rutang tinatakbuhan ng lumang jeepney, automatic na makakansela na ang PA na ibinigay ditto,” the DOTr stressed.

(Once the franchise line is given to PUVMP-compliant cooperative or corporation, the PA granted to old units will be automatically cancelled.)

The DOTr remains firm that the PUVMP, a directive by President Rodrigo Duterte himself, is necessary to ensure the safety of commuters as the modernized jeepney units are equipped with safety features and designs in protection and convenience not just of the commuters but of the drivers as well.

Likewise, the program aims to curb pollution and to improve the income and livelihood of operators and drivers in the country.

MRT rail replacement to start Monday night

Maris Federez   •   November 4, 2019

Sumitomo Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has readied the materials and machines that will be used in replacing the rail tracks of the MRT-3 which will start late evening on Monday (November 4).

MRT-3 director for operations Eng’r. Michael Capati said the rail replacement will be conducted from 11 in the evening to 4 in the morning until its completion in 2021.

This is so that the daily operation of the MRT will not be affected by the rail replacement.

“Mag-iistart tayo dyan sa station 10 which is Buendia. Ang gagawin dyan is mamayang gabi tatanggalin yung luma, babaklasin yung luma, at ipapalit yung bago at ikakabit ulit,” Capati said.

Once the project is completed, trains will be able to run 60-kph from the current 30-kph.

This will shorten the time interval of train trips to three minutes from the current eight minutes, which will also shorten the travel time of passengers.

The rail replacement is also seen to be compatible with the controversial Dalian trains that the Aquino administration purchased from China.

“Once na na full replacement na natin yung buong riles sa buong ruta ng MRT-3 then pwede na nating magistart ng testing ng 60kph for Dalian (trains),” Capati added.

The compatibility of the Dalian trains to the MRT rails had been an issue which is why the trains were not yet used in the metro train operation.

The rail replacement which is a part of the MRT-3 rehabilitation project is expected to be completed in July 2021. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

DOTr orders intensified activation of help desks in transport hubs for “Undas”

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday ordered its attached agencies to intensify the activation of Malasakit Help Desks (MHD) at all transport hubs across the country for the Catholic community’s annual observance of Undas.

In a statement, the DOTr said this is in line with the initiative “Oplan Biyaheng Ayos: Undas 2019” aimed at ensuring the safety of travelers bound for provinces in the upcoming Undas season.

The DOTr said the help desks will be activated from October 25 to November 4, 2019, when the influx of passengers going to and coming from provinces is expected to be high.

The help desks will serve as a one-stop-shop for passenger assistance in airports, seaports, train stations, and land terminals.

“It is imperative that all our MHDs are properly manned and equipped to address the varied concerns and requests for assistance by the public, Napakaraming Pilipinong bumibiyahe tuwing Undas, at ayokong nagkukulang tayo sa pag-aasiste sa kanila,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

“Gawin nating maginhawa at maayos ang kanilang paglalakbay,” he added.

The DOTr said passengers may ask assistance from the help desks for transport-related inquiries and complaints, as well as medical emergency cases in transport hubs during Undas.

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