Guess we’ll have to wait another year for better MRT3 services, according to the Department of Transportation.
DOTr Undersecretary Noel Kintanar revealed during a recent Senate hearing that the MRT3’s current power supply system cannot handle the load of additional train cars. Due to problems in the procurement of new power systems, the upgrades will have to be delayed until around the middle of next year.
“As we said in the first hearing, the real constraint of the MRT3 is the power supply. Because right now, we can run 20 3-car trains. If we were to put it in a 4-car train configuration, which would increase capacity by 33%, hindi po kaya ng ating mga substations,” Kintanar noted. The delivery of the new power supplies could take around a year more to be fulfilled, the undersecretary added.
“But we’re going to push as fast as we can and hopefully by mid-next year, we can already deploy longer trains to increase capacity. But conservatively, we’d say around second to third quarter of 2017,” Kintanar remarked.
Senator Grace Poe, Chairperson of the Committee on Public Services, grilled the undersecretary on the usability of the already-purchased Chinese Dalian trains.
“So you’re saying the trains of Dalian’s can’t be used unless we have power supply – not one or we can start using a few of them already?” Poe asked.
Undersecretary Kintanar replied: “We can start using the Dalian as soon as the onboard signaling is tested and each LRV (light rail vehicle) has to be tested for 1,500 kilometers. But when we have the power supply, we can increase capacity and our target is, again it says 12 months in bid documents, but you can rest assured that we will push the contractors to deliver as soon as possible.”