By Jerome R. Paunan | Philippine Information Agency | October 11, 2015

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has awarded a P160-million improvement project for the Metro Rail Line 3 (MRT-3) system to minimize operational disruptions by ensuring better track upkeep.

The Joint Venture of Kempal Construction & Supply Corp. and TPE Share Sales Inc. got the contract to supply a brand-new rail grinding machine which will remove track irregularities and extend track life. The machine, along with operations and maintenance manuals, repair tools, and a five-year supply of spares, will be delivered within 360 calendar days from issuance of the Notice to Proceed, the DOTC said. This will put an end to the classification of systematic rail grinding as special repair works – which entails additional costs – and instead characterize it as an ordinary preventive maintenance undertaking. With its own rail grinding machine, the MRT-3 management can minimize costs, as similar equipment will no longer be leased from other firms, it added. Last week, the DOTC awarded the signaling system upgrade project to Bombardier Transportation Signal, Ltd. Under the contract, the existing local control system MAN 900 will be replaced with the more contemporary EBI Screen 900 within the next seven months. The new tap-and-go ticketing system has also been activated at all MRT-3 stations, allowing the seamless transfer across the three (3) rail lines and shortening queuing time.