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MRT commuters stranded


Commuters had to bear rush hour traffic and stress after a Metro Rail Transit (MRT) train car malfunctioned early morning yesterday.

Passengers had to evacuate MRT train car 15 after its wheels would not move while cruising the rail tracks between Guadalupe and Buendia stations in Makati City at about 7:46 a.m. yesterday.

“Southbound Train index 15 was stalled at Guadalupe-Buendia interstation due to start up interlocking and no traction,” MRT general manager Atty. Al Vitangcol III said.

The rail official said passengers were unloaded at Buendia Station at 8 a.m. and the train was brought to Shaw Boulevard for inspection.

“Operation was back to normal 15 minutes after,” Vitangcol said.

Procurement of additional train cars for the MRT is on going to lessen overcrowding of passengers and eventually replace worn out and dilapidated MRT coaches.

Only one supplier of train cars from China has qualified to bid for the R3.8-billion capacity expansion project for the MRT 3, according to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC).

Two Chinese suppliers had actually submitted bids to the DoTC Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) last Tuesday but only Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co. CNR Group (Dalian Locomotive) qualified while CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. Ltd. (CSR Zhuzhou) was declared ineligible.

DoTC spokesperson Atty. Migs Sagcal said CSR Zhuzhou failed to submit a certificate of reciprocity and to comply with a technical requirement that’s why its financial proposal was no longer opened.

Meanwhile, Dalian Locomotive has satisfied the project’s eligibility requirements. Its financial proposal is in the amount of P3,759,352,400. The approved budget cost for the project is P3,769,382,400.

DoTC BAC chairman and Undersecretary for Legal Atty. Jose Perpetuo Lotilla clarified that CSR Zhuzhou has manifested that it will file a motion for reconsideration and that Dalian Locomotive has not yet won the bidding.