MRT to implement ‘express train’ service

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Monday, May 5, 2014


THE Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 will conduct an experimental run called the "MRT-3 Express Train" service for two weeks from May 7 to 20 to address the long line of passengers in some of its stations especially during rush hours, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said Monday.

"We hope that this trial run will yield positive results for passengers. Ideally, it will increase mobility – meaning it will get commuters from their origins to their destinations more quickly – as well as lessen waiting time at our most congested stations during peak hours," said DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

Based on historical passenger volume data, most peak-hour weekday morning riders begin their trips at the North Avenue station. A substantial number also start from the Quezon Avenue, GMA-Kamuning, and Cubao stations. Most of these passengers alight at the Buendia, Ayala, Magallanes, and Taft Avenue stations.

Meanwhile, most peak-hour weekday afternoon riders start their trips from the Taft Avenue station, with a large number also boarding from the Magallanes, Ayala, and Buendia stations. Most of these passengers then alight at the Cubao, GMA-Kamuning, Quezon Avenue, and North Avenue stations.

The experimental scheme is meant to cater to these passenger riding habits, by the deployment of Express Trains, which will skip other stations and go directly to the ones with most activity, Abaya said.

From May 7 to 13, southbound Express Trains will be deployed alternately with regular trains from the North Avenue station from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Meanwhile, from May 14 to 20, the same experimental morning schedule will be implemented, with the addition of northbound Express Trains running alternately with regular trains from the Taft Avenue station from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

All Express Trains will make only five stops from the time they are deployed from the end-stations.

The first or "pick-up" stop is meant to board passengers from one of the more heavily-congested stations, before going directly to the second to fifth stops, where most riders will alight.

This means that the morning and afternoon trips will each ply three different routes to maximize the experiment's impact on riders, DOTC said.

According to the agency, for the morning runs beginning at the North Avenue station, the first Express Train will make a pick-up stop at the Quezon Avenue station, the second Express Train will pick-up from the GMA-Kamuning station, and the third Express Train will pick-up from the Cubao station.

Each one will then proceed to the Buendia, Ayala, Magallanes, and Taft Avenue stations. This cycle will be repeated alternately with regular trains during the 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. peak hours.

For the afternoon runs beginning at the Taft Avenue station, the first Express Train will make a pick-up stop at the Magallanes station, the second Express Train will pick-up from the Ayala station, and the third Express Train will pick-up from the Buendia station.

Each one will then proceed to the Cubao, GMA-Kamuning, Quezon Avenue, and North Avenue stations. This cycle will be repeated alternately with regular trains during the 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. peak hours.

Abaya ordered MRT-3 management to install sufficient signages at its facilities for passengers to be fully informed of the test runs.

MRT-3 will also make announcements over the public address systems of its stations to update passengers regarding each approaching train – whether it is a regular train or an Express Train, and in the case of the latter, which route it is following.

"At the end of the two-week testing period, MRT-3 management will evaluate the results of the experiment and make its recommendation to the DOTC on whether the Express Train service should be made permanent," Abaya said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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