By ALEXANDRIA DENNISE SAN JUAN
More commuters will be accommodated by the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) beginning Monday as the railway system is set to increase its trains’ passenger capacity to 30 percent.
In a statement Saturday, the MRT-3 management said the rail line will be able to transport at least 124 passengers per train car or 372 in a train set with the increased maximum passenger capacity to be implemented.
The maximum passenger capacity at the MRT-3 is currently at 13 percent which translates to 51 passengers per train car or 153 per train set.
“We will do this to help transport more people. In addition to increasing our train capacity, our passengers can also expect more trains to be deployed along the mainline, shorter waiting time, and faster travel time,” MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati said.
“This is part of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and MRT-3’s commitment to provide a more efficient and improved service to our passengers,” he added.
According to Capati, this move is a “timely boost” for the MRT-3 as more workers continue to return to their workplaces, resulting in a higher demand for public transportation amid the pandemic.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade had earlier directed the railway sector to increase the passenger capacity of trains after President Duterte approved recommendations of an eased public transport to aid in economic recovery.
The MRT-3, to ensure faster travel time and reduced train headway, added that it is continuously working on the deployment of more train sets.
The MRT-3 was able to deploy 22 train sets on its mainline on Sept. 21, the highest number of running trains recorded in history.
It was able to increase its train speed from 30 kilometers per hour (kph) to 40 kph on Oct. 1 after the installation of new long-welded rails was completed in all MRT-3 stations which is part of the massive rehabilitation program of the rail line being implemented by Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy from Japan.
The MRT-3 operating speed is expected to gradually increase from 40 kph in October to 50 kph by November and 60 kph by December.