Thursday, October 1, 2015
DOTC: 7-Month MRT-3 Signaling System Upgrade Begins
Most of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) glitches experienced by riders the past months are set to be eliminated soon, as the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has awarded the signaling system upgrade project to Bombardier Transportation Signal, Ltd. as part of the agency’s railway rehabilitation efforts.
“This upgrade of an obsolete signaling system, which should have been done by the private sector owner years ago, is crucial in minimizing operational disruptions. This will improve reliability and efficiency of the rail system for the benefit of our passengers,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.
Under the P53.37-million contract, Bombardier will replace the existing local control system called MAN 900 with the more contemporary EBI Screen 900 – a software with the same functionality as MAN 900, but which will allow the use of modern personal computers and fiber optic technology – over the next seven (7) months.
The signaling system maintains safe distances between trains and controls their speed: issues with its components may result in less operating trains and in slower travel.
Apart from modernizing the software components, this upgrade will also ensure the availability of spare parts needed for the uninterrupted and efficient operation of the metropolis’ busiest rail line.
Within the first month of the contract, Bombardier will provide the required hardware upgrades and software licenses; install, test, and commission support of the new system; carry out the migration of existing data and functions; and train MRT-3 personnel on proper operation and maintenance.
Bombardier holds exclusive proprietary rights to supply new components, as it designed, developed, and implemented the entire MRT-3 signaling system when it was constructed.
Beep Cards and Updates on Ongoing MRT-3 Improvements
The recently-launched beep cards and the new tap-and-go ticketing system will be activated at all MRT-3 stations this Saturday, October 3, to help shorten queuing time for passengers.
The ongoing refurbishment of 12 Schindler-brand escalators is expected to be completed before the year ends, while the rehabilitation of MRT-3 toilets is presently being carried out, with six (6) facilities already open for public use.
Over 7,000 linear meters’ worth of new rails are also set to be installed within the year, to replace worn-out tracks in order to ensure safer and smoother rides.