The passenger capacity of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 is expected to increase by 60 percent by the end of 2017 with the deployment of new trains, according to the train system’s maintenance provider, Busan Universal Rail Inc.

China’s Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co. would have completed the delivery of 48 new train coaches next year.

As of this month, 38 coaches have already arrived, with 32 fully assembled and “ready to go,” Busan Universal said. Currently being installed are onboard signaling systems crucial to the train line’s safety.

“Once we have that power, we will run 24 trains in four-car configurations,” MRT 3 officer in charge Deo Leo Manalo said. “But we need more components. End of next year is the target. Once the new power system is in place and the tracks are improved, we can run the trains faster. We can easily accommodate 800,000 passengers a day.”

Busan Universal, a Filipino-Korean joint venture, said restoration activities brought the total number of trains in operation to 22 as of end-November, exceeding the MRT-3 power system’s maximum capacity of 20 trains running at any given time.

The maintenance provider has so far overhauled nine Czech-made trains consisting of 27 train coaches, which are back in good running condition.

“With more trains now in service, more passengers are being served. Average ridership has thus risen to 500,000 passengers daily in late November, a 25-percent increase in passengers since January,” it added.

19 December 2016
By Miguel R. Camus