MRT3 suffers almost daily breakdowns since start of 2018

Aika Rey

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MRT3 suffers almost daily breakdowns since start of 2018
A total of 33 incidents has been recorded from January 1 to February 9

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – If social media posts give you the impression that the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) encounters breakdowns and glitches practically every day, it’s because it does. 

The Department of Transportation has recorded a total of 33 MRT3 glitches in the first 40 days of the year. 

In the first 9 days of February, the MRT3 suffered 6 train glitches, affecting some 4,750 passengers.

Out of the 6 incidents, 3 were caused by electrical failure in the train’s motor due to worn-out parts.

On average, there were only 8 to 9 trains running per day in February, way below the agency’s set minimum of 15 working trains per day.

The MRT3 served some 270,000 passengers per day on average this month, lower than its daily ridership of 500,000 in the past years. 

January, February stats

In January, the train system suffered 27 breakdown incidents: 15 incidents were caused by electrical failure, 6 were due to signalling error, 3 incidents of door failure, another incident due to malfunctioning of the train’s speedometer, and a smoke incident.

On January 26, one of the seat inside the southbound train coach caught fire, forcing passengers to walk along the tracks near Araneta Center-Cubao Station in Quezon City. (READ: Surviving MRT3: Worst train fails in 2017)

Here’s a list of MRT3 glitches in February:

On February 1, around 1,000 passengers were unloaded at the Shaw Boulevard Station due to electrical failure at 5:48 pm.

On the same day, around 800 passengers were unloaded at the Quezon Avenue Station for a signalling error at 8:42 pm.

On February 2, around 1,000 passengers were unloaded at the Santolan-Annapolis Station due to wheel skidding at 4:40 pm. The MRT3 management said the incident was possibly caused by flat spots on the train’s wheels.

On February 4, around 300 passengers were unloaded at the GMA-Kamuning Station due to wheel skidding at 9:22 pm.

On February 8, around 800 passengers were unloaded at the Santolan-Annapolis Station due to electrical failure at 10:37 am.

On February 9, around 850 passengers were unloaded at the Santolan-Annapolis Station due to electrical failure at 3:26 pm.

On February 19, the MRT3 started operations late, and later had provisional service between Shaw and Taft Avenue stations, due to power failures. (READ: Power glitches affect MRT3 ops twice in one day)

Maintenance needed

Earlier this year, the MRT3 management said that the 18-year-old train will have to be rehabilitated with new parts

The MRT3 management promised that there will be better services once the trains are rehabilitated between March 28 and 31.

Transportation officials rejected calls for a temporary suspension of MRT3 operations until all glitches could be fixed, saying this would only cause great inconvenience to commuters. Instead, operating hours and trains were reduced for maintenance checks.

In 2017, there were 516 MRT3 glitches recorded – almost 10 incidents a week. (READ: MRT woes: How often do they happen?)

The MRT3 spans 16.9 kilometers, with 13 stations from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at