MANILA - (UPDATED) The number of operational trains at the MRT was raised to 15 after its annual Holy Week maintenance, in a potential relief for commuters, the Department of Transportation said Monday.
With 15 trains, the MRT can now operate at 75 percent of its maximum capacity, Transport Usec for rail Timothy John Batan told DZMM.
As of 6 a.m. Monday, 11 trains were running, according to the MRT website. The number of trains running reached 15 at around 2 p.m., the Department of Transportation said.
Metro Manila's main railway, which ferries 500,000 people on average daily, had operated only up to 10 trains at a time in recent months, causing long passenger queues. Trains also suffered chronic breakdowns, forcing scores of passengers to disembark and walk on the tracks.
"Iyan ang target natin na ma-meet iyung instruction ni Secretary Tugade na siguraduhing wala na tayong unloading matapos itong general maintenance natin. Kung magkaroon man ng unloading, kakaunti na iyan kumpara noong dati," he told radio DZMM.
(That was our target: to meet the instruction of Secretary Tugade to ensure that we will have no more unloading incidents after our general maintenance. If there will be unloading incidents, these will be fewer compared to before.)
The MRT may have 20 operational trains in 3 to 6 months if Japan's Sumitomo agrees to return as its maintenance provider, said Batan.
Independent auditors will submit this week a report on P3.8 billion worth of China-made trains, which are allegedly incompatible with MRT tracks, Batan said.