MRT-3 celebrates 31 days without breaking down and offloading passengers

The MRT-3, which traverses EDSA, is beset with numerous problems making it almost unreliable. Photo: ABS-CBN News.
The MRT-3, which traverses EDSA, is beset with numerous problems making it almost unreliable. Photo: ABS-CBN News.

Filipino commuters know too well how the MRT-3 is infamous for its inefficiency. It’s gotten to the point that people are no longer surprised when it breaks down and offloads hundreds — nay — a thousand passengers.

In fact, it’s actually more surprising to hear that the MRT-3 has recorded 31 days without offloading passengers. This was a feat celebrated by the Department of Transportation Metro Rail Transit line 3 (DOTr MRT-3) in a Facebook post today.

Oh great, we’re now celebrating 31 days of efficiency.

The DOTr MRT-3 posted on its official social media pages that there have been no unloading incidents from Oct. 16 to Nov. 15 this year, breaking their longest “no-unloading” streak.

Apparently, this is the longest ongoing no-unloading streak for the transit since 2011.

The MRT-3 has made headlines in all sorts of unfortunate events.

In August, its airconditioning unit inconvenienced passengers with its water leak, forcing some riders to take out their umbrellas.

There was another instance in the same month where a woman failed to board overcrowded MRT trains and was fined for overstaying at an MRT-3 station.

In February, commuters even had to walk along the MRT-3’s tracks due to a braking failure.

The MRT-3 broke down more than 500 times last yearThe Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

Unfortunately, many don’t have a choice but to ride the trains. Apart from those who don’t have cars, it’s not like driving is much better.

In Metro Manila, it is not uncommon to travel 8.5 kilometers by car for two hours. The Japan International Cooperation Agency released data showing that the Philippines loses PHP3.5 billion (US$64.9 million) a day due to the metro’s traffic.

But things might just be looking up for train commuters.

Early this month, the Philippines and Japan signed a PHP18billion (US$341,617.69) loan deal for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the MRT-3.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Senior Vice President Yasushi Tanaka signed the loan agreement at the Department of Finance in Manila on Nov. 8, Thursday.

“Over the past years, the MRT-3 operated with less trains that were running slower, carrying less people, and suffering intermittent breakdowns to the point of becoming the symbol of where our country fails,” Dominguez was quoted saying by Rappler.

Dominguez added that the agreement enables the government to finally address the “problem that is the MRT-3.”

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