MANILA -- For the first time in its 20-year operation, the MRT-3 this week deployed a record-high 21 train sets, the Department of Transportation said Thursday, as the Philippines sought to serve more passengers and open up the coronavirus-hit economy.
The MRT-3 recorded its "highest number of running trains" with 21 sets on Wednesday, "for the first time in the rail line’s history", the agency said in a statement.
"This allows the MRT-3 to shorten the waiting time interval between trains, and enables the rail line to increase its passenger capacity," the DOTr said.
MRT-3, which runs the length of EDSA from Quezon City to Pasay City, deployed 20 trains last Monday.
It did not record any unloading incident in the past 3 months or since the resumption on public transportation, following the easing of the capital region's coronavirus lockdown, added the agency.
The MRT-3's rehabilitation by the Japanese firm Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy is expected to be completed in July 2021, said the DOTr.
Last Monday, the DOTr eased physical distancing requirements in public vehicles to 0.75 meter from 1 meter. The move is for "the ‘new normal’ where more workers are expected to return to their re-opened work places and more businesses are expected to resume operations," Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier said.
MRT-3 passengers are required to wear anti-virus masks and face shields and are banned from eating, talking and answering calls on any digital device onboard trains, said the DOTr.