MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has awarded the P53.37-million ($1.14-million) signaling system upgrade project to Bombardier Transportation Signal Limited which, the agency said, will help end the glitches in the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3).
DOTC said that under the contract, Bombardier will replace the existing local control system called MAN 900 with the more contemporary EBI Screen 900 over the next 7 months.
According to the department, the EBI Screen 900 software has the same functionality with MAN 900, but allows the use of modern personal computers and fiber optic technology.
“This upgrade of an obsolete signaling system, which should have been done by the private sector owner years ago, is crucial in minimizing operational disruptions,” DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in a statement on Thursday, October 1.
The signaling system maintains safe distances between trains and controls their speed. Issues with its components may result in less operating trains and slower travel.
Other than modernizing the software components of MRT3, the DOTC said the upgrade will also ensure the availability of spare parts needed for the uninterrupted and efficient operations of the Metro Manila’s busiest rail line.
Within the first month of the contract, Bombardier will provide the required hardware upgrades and software licenses; install, test, and commission support of the new system; carry out the migration of existing data and functions; and train MRT3 personnel on proper operation and maintenance.
Bombardier holds exclusive proprietary rights to supply new components, as it designed, developed, and implemented the entire MRT3 signaling system when it was constructed.
Other MRT3 improvements
Starting October 3, MRT3 commuters will be able to use the new contactless tap-and-go beep™ cards to pay for their rides.
Three months after the new automated fare collection system (AFCS) first went live on Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT2), all MRT3 stations will soon be implementing the new system and easing out the old magnetic tickets.
There is also an ongoing refurbishment of 12 Schindler-brand escalators, which is expected to be completed before the year ends.
The rehabilitation of MRT3 toilets is also being implemented, DOTC said, with 6 facilities already open for public use.
About 7,000 linear meters’ worth of new rails are also set to be installed within the year, as replacements to MRT3’s worn-out tracks. – Rappler.com
$1 = P46.71