QUEZON CITY, April 20 -- A better travel experience awaits train commuters as the Light Rail Authority announced today its multi-year projects for the rehabilitation and modernization of the LRT-2 system.
“The LRTA, with guidance from Secretary Art Tugade of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), is working double time to fast track the rehabilitation of the 14- year old train system so that the riding public may enjoy a smoother, safer and faster journey soon” Gen. Reynaldo I. Berroya, LRTA Administrator said.
Berroya who assumed office last December 2016 stressed that LRTA is committed to bring back LRT-2 as the most advanced and most reliable mass transit system in the country. However, he also seeks patience and understanding from the riding public as most of these projects will not be completed until after 1-3 years time.
Recently, the LRTA has completed 4 projects namely the installation of new IP, high definition 295 CCTV cameras at the stations and at the depot, putting up of two x-ray machines at Santolan and Recto stations to beef up safety and security, construction of the covered walkway at Santolan station to protect the passengers from the heat and rain and the delivery of a Brake Operating Unit, a machine that helps to diagnose the reliability and efficiency of the train’s braking system.
LRTA’s rehabilitation and modernization projects focus mainly on improving the over-all efficiency of the system. These include the rolling stocks, signaling, communication equipment, enhancement/refurbishment of stations/facilities and improvement of customer service. BiyahengAyos, as the directive of DOTr can only be achieved upon completion of these projects.
Passenger Comfort and Convenience
Berroya said that the airconditioning system of the 10 operational trains will undergo systematic replacement since most of its parts are now obsolete and unrepairable. In addition, the train ACU’s were designed 14 years ago and its cooling efficiency is no longer aligned to the current weather condition brought about by the effect of global warming.
LRTA is going to modernize the ACU of the operational trains and use a more environment –friendly refrigerant that is much more energy efficient. However, he appeals for understanding and patience from the riding public since the systematic replacement will not be realized until next year. The project has to undergo bidding, manufacturing, delivery, installation and commissioning. The trains’ ACU’s are not available in the local market and will be sourced out abroad.
Berroya admits that feedback on air-conditioning increased recently, However, this could also be attributed to other factors like the aging train system, rising temperatures in the Philippines and increasing number of commuters.
“We apologize for the inconvenience to the riding public. Our Engineering and Maintenance Teams are doing corrective measures like cleaning the motors of the train AC’s more frequently and efficiently to make train temperature more bearable while waiting for the systematic replacement to take place.
Better Accessibility and Enhancement of Stations
Better accessibility at LRT-2 stations will be experienced upon the complete restoration of the conveyance system. The replacement of the 32 elevators and 13 escalators with PWD friendly features will commence this April and its completion is targeted on or before September 2017.
Refurbishment of the stations, improvement of lightings and replacement of signages are also underway.
Improved Reliability and Increased Capacity
LRTA will repair the 4 down trains to augment the existing 10 operational trains while planning to procure additional 4 trainsets. Fielding more trains will reduce the current headway of 6 minutes to 4 minutes which translates to shorter waiting time of passengers at the stations.
The restoration of down trains will be completed in 2019 while the delivery of the new trains is expected in 2020, just in time for the opening of the LRT-2 East Extension Project.
Better Customer Service
The LRTA started to restore its Public Information Display (PID) at the stations to inform passengers on the arrival and departure of trains at stations. Aside from this, LRTA has partnered with Trackmate for the provision of TV monitors inside the trains. Passengers will soon be well- informed of the programs, services, project updates and other important announcements of LRTA through this new system. (LRT2)