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Saturday, May 24, 2014

DOTC Opens Bidding for P 836-M MRT-3 Ancillary Systems


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Open and public bidding for the second lot of the Department of Transportation and Communications(DOTC) Capacity Expansion Project for the Metro Rail Transit III (MRT-3) system has begun, as part of government’s effort to improve the rail transit’s services.

“As we increase MRT-3’s capacity in order to improve its facilities and provide better services to more passengers, we need to upgrade its ancillary systems as well. With our policy of open and transparent bidding, we know that competition will lead to a more advantageous deal, and therefore, more savings for government,” said DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya.

In the Invitation to Bid published today, the DOTC disclosed that the approved budget for the contract is in the amount of P 836,463,049.86. A pre-bid conference for interested bidders is scheduled on May 28, which is also the day when bid documents will be issued.

The ancillary systems entail the upgrading of the rail line’s traction sub-power station and of its depot facilities, as well as the construction of the North Avenue turnback and the Taft Avenue pocket track extension.

Earlier this year, the DOTC signed the contract for Lot 1 of the Capacity Expansion project, which involves the purchase of forty-eight (48) new train coaches for the MRT-3 system. These additional coaches, which will decongest the over-capacity operations of the railway, will be delivered in monthly tranches beginning next year. Although the deadline for completion is slated in 2017, the winning supplier has committed to deliver all 48 new units by mid-2016.

The DOTC also signed the contract for the new, unified contactless ticketing system for MRT-3 and Lines 1 and 2 of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system last March. This tap-and-go smartcard technology is designed to cut queuing time for passengers and allow seamless transfers from one line to another. It is scheduled to be fully operational by September 2015.

“While our long-term upgrades are still on the way, we are also looking for quick improvements in the meantime. We have already extended operating hours in the morning, and are now experimenting with the viability of an Express Train service,” added Abaya.

To recall, the MRT-3’s morning and evening operations were extended on a trial basis last February to March. The extended 4:30am start of operations, one hour earlier than the previous regular runs, has since been made permanent.

Meanwhile, the Express Train service experiment will be concluded this week, with the MRT-3 Office expected to submit its recommendations to the DOTC next week.

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