Chaos ensued this morning when the Manila Metro Rail Transit System Line 3 (aka as the MRT-3) temporarily suspended its entire operations due to a three-hour power failure.
Operations on the entire line were suspended at 6:42am after an overhead power cable was cut at Makati City’s Guadalupe station, the Department of Transport (DoTr) announced in a tweet. It said that the MRT-3’s management is in the process of repairing the cable and aims to restore full service before 5pm today.
As of 9:45am, partial operations had resumed between the North Avenue and Shaw stations, while a total of six trains were back online as of 10:43am.
A few buses were provided by government agencies to ferry passengers to their destinations. Rappler estimated that as many as 7,302 passengers were affected by the suspension this morning, with passengers spilling into the surrounding streets hoping to catch rides to their respective destinations.
Operations of the MRT-3 was suspended at 6:42AM today due to a cable of the Overhead Catenary System (OCS) being cut at Guadalupe Station (NB), which caused insufficient power supply from Shaw Boulevard to Santolan. pic.twitter.com/XJhBCvFYiR
— DOTr MRT-3 (@dotrmrt3) September 5, 2019
Works are also ongoing to restore Full Service between North Avenue and Taft Stations before 5PM today.
To help ferry MRT-3 passengers to their destinations, additional buses were provided through the joint efforts of the DOTr Railways Sector, i-ACT, MMDA, and LTFRB.
— DOTr MRT-3 (@dotrmrt3) September 6, 2019
Meralco, Manila’s power distribution firm, said that the MRT’s electricity problems were internal. It also denied rumors that it was caused by Meralco’s inability to provide sufficient electricity, reported GMA News.
The DOTr said it would investigate how the cable came to be cut in the first place.
Chaos starts when MRT3 breakdowns pic.twitter.com/hqshGdZwzA
— Joey Ronaldo Dela Cr (@ronaldo_joey) September 5, 2019
Unsurprisingly, the public unleashed their frustration on the DOTr. @FRANCISisAJAX shared this GIF.
— RSJr (@FRANCISisAJAX) September 6, 2019
@JudelynConda had this reaction.
— Judy Angel Conda 🇵🇭🇺🇸🇮🇳 (@JudelynConda) September 6, 2019
MRT-3’s aging trains are notorious for breaking down far too often, with frequent calls for them to be repaired and overhauled. There is, however, hope that improvements are on the horizon after the Philippine government signed a PHP18billion (US$341,617.69) loan deal with Japan in November that will be used for the overhaul and maintenance of the MRT-3.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the loan will help the government address the “problem that is the MRT-3.”
The MRT-3 traverses 13 stations including one in Boni Ave. in Mandaluyong; Ortigas Center in Pasig; and Cubao in Quezon City.