Sep 082014

Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya on Monday bared the government projects meant to improve the service of the Metro Rail Transit after it experienced a number of alarming glitches, including a derailment that saw a train overshooting the Taft Avenue Station and injuring more than 30 passengers and commuters. 

Most of the projects presented will be completed next year while the rest are scheduled to be finished in 2016.

Aside from the P3.579 billion worth of 48 new trains, which will start arriving next year, Abaya said the DOTC was bidding out the P870 million Ancillary System to integrate the brand new coaches on the MRT system.

The system upgrade will be on the MRT’s power stations, train parking, and Taft Avenue station track extension.

Among the projects revealed to the media was the P1.088-billion automatic fare collection system, the contract for which was inked last March. The program, tasked to unify the ticketing system of the three mass rail transport system in Metro Manila, will be completed next year.

Abaya said that the train overhaul of the MRT would start in the last quarter of this year. The project, worth P1.155 billion, will involve the repair of 28 light rail vehicles.  

He said that the train overhaul in 2006 was not completed as required. 

Abaya said that facilities in stations will also be upgraded starting October.  This, he said, included the replacement of elevators and escalators.

To avoid a lengthy disruption of operation due to communication problems, the DOTC also scheduled the replacement and upgrade of the entire radio communication system of MRT-3. The P110 million project would start early next year.

The DOTC said that it will bid out by October the three-year contract to maintain the MRT operations, which is worth $1.4 million (approximately P57 million) monthly.

The current firm that is working on MRT operations maintenance is Autre Porte Technique Global Inc. The contract with APT Global shall be renewed monthly.

During the same press conference, Abaya revealed that the DOTC created a special group to supervise the maintenance of APT Global, so that the DOTC could take over the maintenance of the train system if the government buys out the mass transport rail system from MRT Corporation.

Other DOTC project includes: the upgrade signaling system and computer software worth P184 million; rail replacement worth P119 million; traction motors replacement worth P94.5 million; and 

North Avenue footbridge worth P13 million. —NB, GMA News

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