Palace apologizes anew to MRT passengers

Palace apologizes anew to MRT passengers
The apology comes after a broken track disrupts operations again Wednesday, and an earlier glitch forced riders to walk on the tracks

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Wednesday, June 17, again apologized to the riding public after seemingly endless disruptions of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) operations, affecting hundreds of thousands of commuters.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said they “are making sure that concerns are being addressed right now.”

“We certainly apologize for the inconvenience. We’re doing what we can to improve services,” Lacierda said in a briefing.

Early Wednesday, a broken track between the Boni and Shaw Boulevard stations interrupted morning commuters. MRT trips were limited from the Shaw to North Avenue stations and vice versa. Full operations resumed at around 6:45 am.

On Monday, June 15, passengers were forced to walk along the tracks on Guadalupe Bridge after a train stalled during rush hour. 

The MRT has been glitch-ridden since the start of this year, as evident with the seemingly daily disruptions in its operations. 

For the MRT3 to efficiently carry 600,000 passengers daily, it should have 20 trains running during peak hours. But general manager Roman Buenafe said during the early part of the year that the system only had 12 to 15 trains working during rush hour. (READ: MRT glitches increase since January 2015)

Improvements soon

Malacanang, for its part, assures the public that the original schedule of the arrival of new coaches will push through. The lack of coaches is one of the reasons for the disruption of MRT operations.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the main agency tasked to supervise the MRT-3, recently awarded 4 out of 7 maintenance contracts for the mass transit system, in an attempt to solve the problem. 

DOTC said the 4 new maintenance providers were procured via a multi-disciplinary approach, through which the agency is engaging sub-contractors directly for the maintenance works.

“This is expected to improve the efficiency of executing such works,” DOTC said in a statement released Wednesday, June 17.

But until actual improvements are seen and felt, the riding public will have to bear the brunt of the cyclical problem of the country’s mass transport system. – Rappler.com

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