LRT1 operator completes restoration, vows more daily rides soon

Chrisee Dela Paz
LRT1 operator completes restoration, vows more daily rides soon

Photographer: Paolo Antonio y. Buendia

Light Rail Manila Corporation will be able to increase trips to 554 from the current 498 daily

MANILA, Philippines – Commuters can expect better and more Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT1) daily rides, after the train’s private operator recently completed its P1-billion program to restore the railway’s light rail vehicles (LRVs) and improve its system reliability.

This is while Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) is awaiting the procurement of 120 new LRVs by the Philippine government. (READ: Engineers racing to fix LRT1)

The restoration of 25 LRVs has expanded the current fleet of the LRT1 to 102 from 77.

“With the expanded fleet, a new train timetable will be implemented, increasing the number of trips on weekdays from the current 498 to 554 trips daily, resulting to shorter queueing time and reduced headway for our passengers,” LRMC president and chief executive officer Rogelio Singson said in a statement.

Singson said the proposal for the new timetable to add more trips had been discussed with and welcomed by Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Reynaldo Berroya and Deputy Administrator Felix Leyson.

The restoration program included the sourcing of spare parts from the original European manufacturers of the 32-year-old 1st generation trains and the 18-year-old 2nd generation trains.

“Our engineers have successfully gained the confidence of European spare parts manufacturers such as Alstom, Gerkens, and Knorr Bremse, among others, for the supply of electromechanical parts that were essential to restore LRVs,” Singson said.

“With 102 LRVs available as of May 31, we can now serve the passengers better with increased capacity and shorter waiting time,” Singson explained.

The LRMC has been operating the LRT1 since 2015.

Extension to Cavite

REHAB. By end-2017, Light Rail Manila Corporation expects to deliver a 'wholly refurbished train line, featuring stations that have been renovated and equipped with structural upgrades and new facilities.' Photo from LRMC

Following the restoration of LRVs, LRMC is also repairing 43 1st generation trains to further improve passenger comfort. Corroded exterior walls and floorings are being fixed.

LRMC said full rail replacement of the old system is almost complete ahead of schedule. (LOOK: The newly-renovated LRT1 Doroteo Jose Station)

The LRT1 operator on May 4 broke ground for pre-construction works on the LRT1 Cavite Extension. This will connect the existing line with 20 passenger stations to an 11.7-kilometer alignment with 8 passenger stations to be located in Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Cavite.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade told LRMC to speed up the construction of the LRT1 Cavite Extension project, asking them to finish it by 2020 instead of 2021.

Singson said the 2020 timeline is “doable” if local government units cooperate in terms of right-of-way acquisition.

LRMC is a consortium of Ayala Corporation, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), and the Macquarie group. – Rappler.com

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