THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Thursday it has awarded the “shadow operator consultant (SOC)” contract for the Metro Rail Transit Line 4 (MRT 4).
Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said the contract was awarded to Ricardo Rail Australia Pty Ltd., which will bring in its “experience and expertise… [to] elevate MRT 4 operations to international standards.”
“Designating a shadow operator consultant will help elevate MRT 4 operations to international standards because even at the design stage of the project, we have consultants of international caliber advising us how best to proceed, according to internationally accepted best practices,” Bautista said.
Having a key role in the eventual operations and maintenance of MRT-4, the consultant’s contract is a 12-month agreement that aims to identify, define, and develop internationally accepted best practice operational and maintenance requirements.
Ricardo Rail is required to prepare for hand over to the “Operations and Maintenance Concessionaire” and to ensure that the designs of the engineering and architectural consultant are followed.
“The key words in the arrangement are ‘internationally accepted best practices’ in railway engineering,” Bautista said.
According to its website, New South Wales-based, Ricardo Rail offers “engineering consulting services and solutions built on sustainable technological innovation.”
It claims to have more than a century of engineering history working work across eight key market sectors: aerospace and defense; automotive; energy utilities and waste; financial services; government and public sector; industrial and manufacturing; maritime; and, rail and mass transit.
An Asian Development Bank-funded big-ticket railway project, the MRT 4 is envisioned to be a 13.4-kilometer railway that runs Ortigas Avenue in Pasig and Taytay, Rizal.
The 10-station future line aims to alleviate traffic problem along Ortigas Avenue, in Pasig and Mandaluyong Cities, and encourage car users to take the train.
Once operational, it will serve roughly 400,000 passengers per day.
“Ultimately, we anticipate a smooth implementation of the project—from design to construction and eventually to the award of its operations and maintenance to a private operator,” Bautista said.