MRT 3 maintenance provider bats for system audit of rail line

INVESTIGATING the root cause of the glitches and service interruptions that plague the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 would yield only one answer, which according to its maintenance provider, is the “inherent flaws” in the facility’s design.

Busan Universal Rail Inc. made this statement amid its call for a system audit of the rail line, which has been seeing several service interruptions and passenger unloading incidents over the past few years.

To make its plea formal, the company submitted to MRT 3 General Manager Rodolfo Garcia a letter pressing for the said system review.

The said probe, according to the Busan’s letter, would only “confirm that the MRT 3 design flaws are the primary reason for the recurring service interruptions of the system”.

Citing records from 2000, Busan claimed that it has been maintaining the system properly, noting that it has lessened the number of glitches from 2015’s recorded 2,776 issues to about 992 in mid-June 2017.

“With the original system flaws compounded by overloading and excessive vibrations and poor track condition that lead to failure of electronic, electrical and mechanical parts of the MRT 3 system and has resulted in the continuing occurence of glitches and stoppages,” Busan said.

Charles Perfecto A. Mercado, the company’s legal counsel, said his group is “open to an extensive system audit to once and for all produce an in-depth factual report of the current status of the system as opposed to putting all the blame to the maintenance contractor”.

He previously made the call for the system audit to Department of Transportation Undersecretary for Rails Cesar B. Chavez, who, he said, did not take any action on the matter.

The BusinessMirror sought for Chavez’s comment, but he has yet to reply as of press time.

Chavez has repeatedly said he has recommended the termination of the government’s contract with Busan for failing to maintain the system properly.

MRT Holdings Inc. Chairman Robert John L. Sobrepeña has also belied the claims of Busan, saying that its accusations are “ridiculous”.

Sobrepeña’s group owns the rail facility. It is being operated by the government through a build-lease-transfer agreement signed roughly two decades ago.

The MRT 3 has been a huge problem for the government for over half a decade now due to congestion relating to operations and maintenance issues.

Several proposals to rehabilitate and improve the train line have been offered to the government, but to date, these proposals have yet to be acted upon.