DOTr: No fare hike amid system rehab of MRT Line 3

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019   •   325

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) maintains that minimum fare in MRT Line 3 will remain despite the ongoing rehabilitation works on the train system.

According to Transport Undersecretary Timothy John Batan, unless commuters experience full convenience and observe significant improvements in the MRT Line 3 system, there is no reason for any fare increase.

Meanwhile, the Department is expected to achieve its target train speed of 60 km. and the completion of its rehabilitation efforts including the replacement of new rail tracks and the addition of new train coaches by the year 2021.

Once completed, the MRT Line 3’s full operation is expected to accommodate up to 600,000 passengers every day. – MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Construction of Sangley Airport now 72% complete — DOTr

Marje Pelayo   •   September 17, 2019

Courtesy: the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Facebook

MANILA, Philippines – Sangley Airport in Cavite is almost done, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The new airport is now 72% complete as construction works run 24/7 for the general aviation and turboprop operations of the airport.

Structural works have been continuous for the prompt completion of the passenger terminal building as well as the grade preparation for the hangar’s concrete slab.

Roofing and gutter installation is almost complete, according to DOTr, as well as the ramp and taxiway construction including the drainage system at the airport’s landside area.

The ongoing construction is in line with the directive of DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade to make sure that the facility will be completed in time for the deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte which is in November of this year.

Once completed, the Sangley Airport is expected help decongest airport traffic at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

MRT-3 reports drop in unloading incidents in 2019

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The number of unloading incidents recorded from January to September this year in the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) has only reached 18 so far, its management reported on Monday.

According to official records of the MRT-3 control center, this is much lower when compared to 480 unloading incidents reported in the same period in 2016, which was the highest number recorded since 2012.

In a Facebook post, the MRT-3 said the significant improvement was observed after they stopped the “force deployment” of “unsafe and reliable trains” as practiced by MRT-3’s previous maintenance provider.

MAGANDANG BALITA!DAMANG-DAMA na ang lamig sa loob ng tren ng MRT-3 dahil naikabit na ang 93 bagong air-conditioning…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Saturday, 14 September 2019

“Amin din pong nais na klaruhin na ang MRT-3 ay hindi kailanman nagdedeploy ng tren na depektibo o sira. Mahalaga sa amin ang kaligtasan ng aming mga pasahero,” the agency said in a statement.

(We also wish to clarify that the MRT-3 has never deployed defective trains. The safety of our passengers is very important to us.)

“Katunayan, ipinatigil po namin ang naging kasanayan ng dating maintenance providers na ‘force deployment’ ng ‘unsafe at unreliable trains’, dahil sila noon ay nababayaran base sa numero ng tren na kanilang nadedeploy, sirain man o hindi,” it added.

(In fact, we have stopped the practice of ‘force deployment’ of ‘unsafe and unreliable trains’ by former maintenance providers as they are paid based on the number of deployed trains, regardless of whether it broke down or not.)

The MRT-3 management also said that compared to previous years, its warehouse now contains enough number of spare parts to repair broken train system components.

“Kung dati rin ay halos walang lamang spare parts ang MRT-3 warehouse, ngayon po ay nag-uumapaw ito sa dami. Ibig sabihin, sapat na ang mga spare parts na gagamitin sa pagkukumpuni ng mga bagon at sistema ng MRT-3,” it said.

(If in the past, the MRT-3 warehouse contained little to no spare parts, now, it is overflowing. It means there are enough spare parts for fixing MRT-3 coaches and system components.)

The agency also reported other improvements brought about by the ongoing comprehensive rehabilitation program, including the full operation of elevators in all MRT-3 stations and the operation of 30 of the total 46 escalators.

93 air-conditioning units have also been installed at MRT-3 coaches with 87 more units to be delivered soon.

Around 4,053 pieces of new rails to replace degraded MRT-3 mainline tracks have also been completely delivered.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier announced that the processing of rail replacements for will start in November until February 2021 at the welding area in the railway’s Taft Avenue Station.

READ: MRT-3 rail replacement works to kick off in November – DOTr

The department earlier said the installation of replacement rails will only take place non-operating hours to avoid disruption in the line’s daily train service.

The DOTr expects the new rails to reduce excess vibration of trains which cause damage to its electrical and mechanical component and later lead to glitches or train breakdown.

By the end of the rehabilitation works, the department said MRT-3 running trains will be increased from 15 to 20 with speed up to 60 kilometers per hour.

The waiting time between trains is also seen to go down from the current 7.5 minutes to 3.5 minutes.

“Makakaasa po kayo na pagsapit ng July 2021, o 26 months mula nang magsimula ang rehabilitasyon noong Mayo, ganap nang mararamdaman ang mga pagbabago sa MRT-3,” the MRT-3 management said.

Construction of Mindanao railway system to begin in 2020

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2019

Image from Department of Transportation (DOTr)

MANILA, Philippines – The construction of the first phase of the Mindanao Railway System is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced Monday.

The DOTr said the bidding for the construction of the project will be held on November 2019 while the groundbreaking is scheduled early next year, citing a Facebook post of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairman Manny Piñol.   

Phase 1 of the Mindanao railway project covers 102 kilometers linking the Davao region through its major cities Davao City, Tagum and Digos.

It is designed to accommodate around 110,000 passengers per day in its opening year.

During a briefing last Sept. 12, Piñol asked project planners to consider the coastal areas of Surigao down to Davao Occidental and Sultan Kudarat provinces in the railway project.

These coastal regions, according to Piñol, could be transformed into major food production and tourism areas if they are connected to the railway system.

The MinDA chief said his agency will provide the project’s engineering consultants a commodity map of Mindanao to help them identify key production areas in the region.

Piñol added that the groundwork for the succeeding phases of the 1,550-kilometer railway system is also being prepared by a group of Chinese engineering consultants.

The Mindanao Railway project is seen to be completed by 2022. It is projected to increase the daily ridership of the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment to 134,060 once it becomes operational.

The railway’s first segment is also envisioned to reduce travel time from Tagum City, Davao del Norte to Digos City, Davao del Sur from 3.5 hours to 1.3 hours.

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