Bidding for additional MRT-3 train cars moved anew

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The supply contract involves the procurement of 48 new light rail vehicles

MOVED ANEW. The DOTC's deadline for the bidding of a P3.8 billion supply contract has been moved to April 30. AFP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – A deadline for the bidding for the acquisition of additional 48 new train cars for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) has been moved again. 

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has postponed the bidding for the P3.8 billion MRT-3 contract to give interested firms more time to prepare.

In a notice issued on Wednesday, March 27, DOTC Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla said that the deadline for submission of bid documents for the expansion project has been moved to April 30 from April 15.  

“Upon the request of the bidders to give them ample time to prepare their bidding documents, the submission and opening of bid documents is extended from April 15 to April 30,” Lotilla said.

The government published an “invitation to bid” for the project on February 22. The deadline for the submission for bid proposals was originally set for March 22 before being moved to April 15. 

The new train cars are expected to lessen congestion for the MRT-3. The DOTC said that the train line transports around 600,000 passengers a day. The number of passengers is significantly higher than the train line’s design capacity of 350,000 passengers. 

“During peak hours, MRT-3 uses three-car trains that arrive every three minutes. As such, there is an obvious lack of trains to meet the demand,” the DOTC said.

 The agency said that the expansion program would boost capacity through the use of 4-car trains that arrive every 2.5 minutes. “This will enhance passenger convenience, improve reliability, reduce passengers’ waiting time, and decongest the crowded passenger platforms,” the agency said.

The expansion program also covers the upgrading of traction power substations and signaling system, the installation of more stabling tracks and a catenary system in the depot and the upgrading of depot maintenance equipment. 

The agency also told bidders that the trains must be compatible with the existing systems of the MRT-3 vehicle configuration. The DOTC also specified that the trains must have ventilation and air-conditioning systems and must be designed to accommodate pregnant women, the disabled and the elderly. The agency also required wheelchair spaces for the trains.  

The MRT-3 stretches 17 kilometers from North Ave. in Quezon City to Taft Ave. in Pasay City. The train line currently has a fleet of 73 trains from the Czech Republic. –

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