Two new MRT wagons next week
After concluding a test run on Thursday, MRT General Manager Roman Buenafe announced that two new wagons will be on the tracks and running starting next week.
The new Chinese made Light Rail Vehicles (LRV) would make queuing of vehicles faster. Buenafe said that for April, 14-18 trains will be going through the stations at any given time. He hopes that by May, this number will increase to 20 trains running at the same time in the MRT system.
The new LRV coaches come with safety belts, digital signage, and have a maximum speed of up to 60 kilometers per hour. However, he said that the trains will remain at the usual 40 kilometers per hour speed for day-to-day use. The operators for the new coaches are still undergoing training but would be ready to operate the said coaches just in time for next week.
Despite the addition of the new coaches, he admits that this is still insufficient for the riding population. For instance, during Fridays they expect the demand to rise up to 400,000 passengers, compared to the maximum capacity of each train of 1,192.
"Kulang pa rin ang train to serve the ridership" he said.
The MRT management is expecting a delivery of three to four trains a month. The new LRVs would last for up to 50 years, with proper service. The previous Japanese operator had a difficult time in the maintenance of the old units.
The MRT is currently only addressing the daily problems of ridership before they can handle long term. Regarding problems with the rail, he assured the public that they were conducting systematic grinding operations even during the Holy Week.
However, other things in the MRT stations such as the elevators have yet to find a service agreement. They are still under competitive bidding. He assured that the repair of escalators would be faster.