On last day of 2017, MRT3 unloads passengers due to glitch

MANILA, Philippines – On the last morning of 2017, the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) unloaded passengers because of another system glitch.

The MRT3 suspended its southbound operations at 6:54 am on Sunday, December 31, “due to a signaling problem” according to transportation officials.

It resumed operations over an hour later, at 7:59 am. (READ: Surviving MRT3: Worst train fails in 2017)

SERVICE STATUS Service interruption due to signaling problem. We are sorry for the inconvenience Info: https://t.co/K2NVHCrmPU — DOTC-MRT3 (@dotcmrt3) December 30, 2017

A few hours after the incident, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced steps it had taken to improve MRT3 services.

"In its commitment to progressively address the issues beleaguering the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), the Department of Transportation MRT-3 (DOTr MRT-3) team recently completed the procurement of the first batch of various spare parts required for the system’s maintenance," the DOTr said in a press statement.

Assistant Secretary for Railways TJ Batan said the deliveries of some spare parts had started "and will continue over the next 30 to 90 days."

"We got the commitment of all suppliers to exert best efforts to deliver earlier than the prescribed contractual lead times, and our MRT-3 team will focus on realizing this," Batan said.

He added that the DOTr will continue procuring signaling spare parts and general overhaul services, among others.

The purchase of spare parts for the MRT3’s Maintenance Transition Team (MTT) is the second phase of DOTr’s 4-part strategy to fix the problematic train line.

According to MRT3's service status page, the railway system suffered 517 glitches from January 1 to December 26 this year – an average of 10 breakdowns a week. (READ: MRT woes: How often do they happen?Rappler.com