The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) of Philippines is anticipating the removal of a court order that blocks it from adding 48 new light rail vehicles (LRVs) to the Metro Rail Transit III (MRT-3) system.
The regional trial court of Makati issued a temporary order of protection (TOP) to stop the process following the award of contract to Chinese firm Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock in January.
DOTC spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal said: "The DOTC will be able to increase MRT-3’s capacity within two to three years starting from the time that the court allows to proceed.
"Since more passengers will be able to take the train, EDSA traffic should be mitigated considerably."
As part of MRT-3 capacity expansion project, DOTC was supposed to purchase 48 new LRVs through an open and transparent bidding process.
DOTC claims that the project will enhance MRT-3’s trips per hour from 20 to 24, which will translate to a 60% rise in the number of passengers per hour per direction.
The metro rail transit’s average daily ridership is currently over 560,000, and its highest single-day passenger count is 620,000.
Mr Sagcal said: "The project will take two to three years to complete because the LRVs will still be manufactured. A prototype will be tested on the system within 12 to 18 months, followed by the delivery of three-four units per succeeding month."
DOTC believes that it has sufficient legal grounds to proceed with the addition of new LRVs considering public benefits.
Image: The new LRV coaches are expected to ease traffic by 2015. Photo: courtesy of DOTC.