Government must act on distressful state of MRT-3

mrtIf the different mishap shown on prime TV news involving the country’s Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) has not jolted the Aquino government, specifically the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), from taking drastic corrective measures before lives are lost, hopefully the report made by experts from Mass Transit Railway Hong Kong (MTR HK) on the condition of MRT-3 will.

It is more of a chilling report on how poor management in operations and maintenance is endangering the lives of commuters availing the transport system.

The DOTC cannot simply wash their hands for the distressful state of MRT-3 for their negligence is what the report is all about. Not only have they compromise safety but in their laxity and inattentiveness to the needs of the system, they have readily and steadily shortened its expected lifespan.

To better appreciate the disturbing report, let me just cite some observations MTR HK made, as published:

MTR Hong Kong noted that the condition of the tracks is “most alarming and requires immediate attention.”

“A broken rail is a serious threat to the safe operation of a railway. It can potentially case train derailment resulting in substantial casualties in a high usage system like MRT-3.”

“Track condition is found to be in poor and unacceptable condition to allow continuous safe operations of the railway.”

The observations above seem to focus only on the rail and for a reason because that is what keeps the train on track running safely even at high speed.

Suffice to say that what the MTR HK team has found is that the pathetic condition of the country’s MRT-3 is because of DOTC officials’ inadequacy and inattentiveness, if not total ignorance towards: asset management and rail operations management in general, which includes maintenance programs for both carriage and railways, personnel training programs and safety programs. All these could prolong the life of the metro system making it even more profitable. But, its downfall could only be attributed to the indifference and lack of professionalism by people entrusted by no less than President Aquino to keep the metro transport running and in top shape and the riding public safe at all times.

This brings to fore the question that is in most people’s mind: Should MRT continue to be run by government or should a private entity be chosen to manage it?

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4 comments on “Government must act on distressful state of MRT-3

  1. More than ever, the senators could not just block the government’s solution to MRT-3 woes without offering alternatives. They have a ready solution when assessing the buyout. The DOTC will either abort or go on with MRT3 buyout. Now that a viable way to save the MRT 3 has been on the table, the DOTC must sit down with MRTH officials and discuss things rather than insist that DOTC must do what it has proven incapable of doing all these years – run MRT 3 properly. If there are objectionable provisions in the proposed agreement, Sec. Jun must tell us now rather than just avoid giving an explanation for DOTC’s lack of action. We must not wait for a tragic accident to happen.

    The original MRT 3 contract seems problematic from the start. FVR did seem to have agreed to a very lopsided and problematic contract. Now is a good opportunity to correct objectionable provisions. There has to be room for give and take but they have to sit down and talk for anything to happen.

  2. Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya should not forget that the purpose of constructing mass transit systems is to provide the public with cheap transportation services. The administration should instead seriously consider these options to help subsidize the MRT mass transit system instead of resorting to fare hikes

    • quierosaber says:

      Exactly! Fare hikes do not translate to improve performance of the MRT. Whichever way one looks at it, it is a solution that only robs the public more than what they are paying already while the system continues to service poorly.

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