LRT 1 operator to add trains

Light Rail Manila Consortium, led by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp., plans to acquire two new trains for Light Rail Transit Line 1 on top of the government’s commitment to add 120 light rail vehicles under the concession agreement, a top executive said Thursday.

“The priority is to bring back more light rail vehicles on the line to reduce the customers’ waiting time,” LRMC president and chief executive Jesus Francisco said.

Expanding the capacity of the trains to lessen waiting time means refurbishing existing trains and purchasing new ones to complement the government’s acquisition of new LRVs.

The Light Rail Transit Authority and the Transport Department earlier said new trains at LRT Line 1 were expected to be delivered starting 2017.

LRTA operated LRT 1 until Sept. 12, 2015, when it was turned over to LRMC. 

LRMC embarked on an assessment of the trains, substations, tracks and passenger terminals to determine the extent of work needed to improve light rail service for around 400,000 daily passengers.

Francisco said the company was prioritizing the baseline requirements for passenger safety and convenience.

“We also need to improve the condition of the rails in preparation for the time when we can bring up the trains up to speed,” he said.

He said as part of LRMC’s system-wide review, the assessment of the power supply system, line and catenary system, signaling and telecommunications were also being undertaken.

“Together with DoTC and LRTA, LRMC will work to complete the full assessment of Line 1 as soon as possible,” he said.

LRMC earlier disclosed plans to upgrade the passenger terminals, including facilities such as escalators and elevators.  The company started with the restoration of lighting at all passenger terminals for enhanced passenger safety.

LRMC is a joint venture company of MPIC’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp., Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp, and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd.

LRMC signed a concession agreement with DoTC and LRTA on Oct. 2, 2014 for the P65-billion LRT 1 Cavite extension, operation and maintenance project which is a part of the 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan.

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