Good news for commuters: Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 is offering free rides for 30 days, starting from March 28 until May 30.
President Rodrigo Duterte and Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade made the announcement at the official inauguration of the newly rehabilitated rail line on Tuesday, March 22 in Mandaluyong City.
After nearly three years, the rehabilitation undertaken by Japanese contractor Sumito-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-TES Philippines is officially complete.
Among the improvements are new and overhauled tracks along the mainline, which means that the operating speed can go up to 60 kilometers per hour, up from 30 kph in the past. This also decreased the headway between train car arrivals from nine minutes to just four to five minutes. Now, traveling from North Avenue to Taft Avenue stations only takes about 45 to 50 minutes, almost half an hour faster than previous running times. MRT-3 can now run around 18 to 22 train cars during peak hours, too.
Likewise, all train cars have new air conditioning units just in time for the dry season. At stations, new CCTV cameras were also installed along with platform monitors. All elevators that were previously non-operational are now working, too.
Public commuters can now breathe easy, but just take note of MRT’s Holy Week operating hours: no train operations from April 13 to 17.
As of April 27, the DOTr has extended the free ride for passengers of the MRT. Close to 8.5 million passengers were serviced during its first month.