For years now, rapid growth of commuters and vehicles population have plagued Metro Manila, the center of Philippine socio-economic and political activity. Heavy traffic, pollution and all the attendant undesired results are problems that Metro Manila have to contend with daily.
A case in point is on EDSA, a 24-kilometer stretch from MacArthur Highway at Caloocan City in the north of Metro Manila to Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, south of Metro Manila.Considered one of the world's highest volume thoroughfares, EDSA is a semi-circular ring road link with several radial roads leading to the metropolis' social, economical and political centers. The avenue cuts across the cities of Caloocan, Quezon, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Pasay and bounds Pasig City and the town of San Juan.
EDSA's importance to the lives of more than eight million people - or 12 percent of the country's 68 million citizens who live in Metro Manila cannot be underestimated. Added to the metropolis' growing population are the transients and migrants who come to live in Metro Manila in search of opportunities. Every birth, transient or migrant, is a potential commuter who will likely join more than the 2.8 million people already using EDSA.
At the same time, every birth, and transient or migrant, is also a potential car owner likely to occupy 4.6 meters by 2.7 meters, the average car area of street space. The fast pedestrian and vehicle population growth has become a major headache for metropolitan planners who concede that Metro Manila's road, which comprise less than 10 percent of the country's network, cannot adequately accommodate pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Streets in the metropolis expand by less than two percent annually.
Statistics add that traffic has caused the loss of over P15 billion yearly due to lost man-hours, repairs and maintenance and lost fuel. Added to these are unquantifiable discomforts to commuters and vehicle owners undergo when they travel through major streets.
At worse, heavy traffic is taking its toll on the nation's social and economic build-up. Traffic in Metro Manila is expected to nearly resemble nerve-wracking conditions in Bangkok, Thailand and in other parts of the world. Experts agree that a long term solution, beyond just keeping vehicles off the streets, is imperative. One of the solutions that the government sponsored was the establishment of the EDSA MRT3 System.
To provide an adequate, regular and faster mode of transport service along EDSA by operating a safe, efficient and reliable light rail transit system designed to meet the standards of service, quality and customer satisfaction; create opportunities for community development; attain fiscal independence and economic growth; in order to contribute to national stability and prosperity.
A progressive rail transport system anchored on:
- Service Excellence
- Community Development
- Economic Stability
- To provide fast and safe transportation to the public
- To provide efficient, courteous and respectful service to the riding public
- To promote and embody the development, national stability, and aspirations of the Philippine Government
- To serve our Senior Citizen and differently-abled persons
The Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3) is the cornerstone of the Department of Transportation & Communication's integrated strategy to alleviate the chronic traffic congestion experience along the EDSA corridor. The Metro Rail system is designed to carry in excess of 23,000 passengers per hour per direction, initially, and is expandable to accommodate 48,000 passengers per hour, per direction.
The DOTC awarded a contract to Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC) to build, lease and transfer the Metro Rail Transit System, under the BOT laws of the Republic of the Philippines. The scheme required the DOTC to hold the franchise and run the system particularly the operation and the collection of fares. The MRTC built the system, maintain the same as to guarantee the availability of the trains at specified headway at specified hours, as well as to procure the required spare parts, the DOTC pays MRTC monthly fees for a certain number of years.
MRTC financed the construction of the EDSA MRT3, a 16.9-kilometer modern rail system to stretch along EDSA's 10.5-meter median from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue, Pasay City.
MRTC infused US$ 190 million (P4.49 billion) in equity into the project.
MRTC obtained financial closing, with the help of international financial consultant JP Morgan, for loans worth US$ 465 million P 12.32 billion) from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, and Japan Export-Import Bank (JEXIM); the Postal Bank of the Czech Republic and Czech Export Credit Agency; and a group of local banks on October 17, 1997.
The loans are backed by the government through a sovereign undertaking, as agreed with the Department of Finance, to cushion risks to investors and creditors.
MRTC signed on September 16, 1997 an amended turnkey contract with Sumitomo Corporation / Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Inc., which sub-contracted EEI Corporation for civil works, and another contract with rail vehicle supplier CKD Dopravni System.
The MRTC retained the services of ICF Kaiser Engineers and Constructors, Inc. to provide program management and technical oversight of the services for the design, construction management and commissioning of the MRT3 rail system.
MRTC was responsible for the design, construction of the EDSA rail transit system. This included the supply of the light rail vehicles, track, signaling, communications, power distribution, and the furnishing of other necessary equipment, facilities, and spare parts. MRTC was also responsible for constructing the necessary civil works for the system including fixed guide-ways, passengers stations, power substations, LRV storage depot and maintenance facilities, and other facilities required to make the light rail transit system operational.
During the construction phase, DOTC exercised the technical supervision of the project activities covered by the contract between DOTC and MRTC, and inspected and checked whether the project was constructed in accordance with the approved plans, specifications, standards and costs.
The Department employed the services of SYSTRA, a French consultancy firm, with technical competence, experience and track record in the construction and operation of railway systems.
To enumerate, the following are SYSTRA's role during the EDSA MRT3 Project Implementation;
- Design supervision
- Interfaces coordination with other agencies
- Construction & systems installation supervision
- Traffic management & relocation of utilities implementation
- Transportation system commissioning
- Preparation of operation & training of operating personnel
- Issuance of special studies at DOTC's request (fare study, Sky City building deep excavation reinforcement)
- Assist DOTC during actual operation
- Preparation of draft of letter for the DOTC Project Director's signature
- Preparation & issuance of monthly Project Reports to DOTC including identification of performed activities, schedule, main problems & recommendation
- Participation in claims meeting
- Implementation of Project Control and master filing of all project documents (drawings, calculation sheets, reports, minutes, faxes & internal procedures)
- Assist the DOTC to operate the EDSA MRT System during the first five years of its operation
The rail project has a fleet of 73 Czech-made modern and air-conditioned rail cars, of which up to 60, in three-car trains, will be operating daily during hours. The trains were built by CKD Doprovni System of Prague, the Czech Republic. The rail vehicles are articulated, eight-axle, three-section cars, designed for single-ended operations.
Each rail car is provided with five double leaf, electronically-operated, plug-sliding doors. The three center doors have an open width of 1,255 millimeters (mm.) while the two end doors, 861 mm. Each train can seat 80 passengers and carry, under crush loading conditions, 394 commuters at any one time. The MRT3 trains can carry 23,000 passengers per hour per direction daily.
The rail coaches are also air and noise pollution-free and run on electricity from MERALCO. 34.5 kilovolts AC Power is provided at the eight traction electrification substations at North Avenue, Kamuning, Santolan Road, Ortigas Avenue, Guadalupe, Ayala Avenue, Magallanes Avenue and Taft Avenue.
The trains run at a maximum speed of 65 kilometers per hour, enough to cover the rail system's tip in about 30 minutes, including short dwell times of about 25 to 35 seconds in each of the system's 13 stations. They run over standard rail tracks.
Aside from the two revenue tracks, a pocket track is located at the Shaw Blvd. Station for the temporary storage of disabled cars, for temporary storage of cars cut from the train consist during non-peak hours, or for mid-point train turn-backs where scheduling needs or passengers load dictates.
|Regular Weekdays Train Schedule|
|Period||Time||No. of Trains||Headway|
|Morning||4:30AM~6:30AM||19 Trains||4.5-7 Minutes|
|AM Peak||6:30AM~9:30AM||20 Trains||4 Minutes|
|Off Peak||9:30AM~4:30PM||15 Trains||5.5 Minutes|
|PM Peak||4:30PM~7:30PM||20 Trains||4 Minutes|
|Night||7:30PM~10:30PM||19 Trains||4.5-7 Minutes|
|Regular Weekends Train Schedule|
|Period||Time||No. of Trains||Headway|
|Saturday||4:30AM~10:30AM||15 Trains||5.5 Minutes|
|Sunday||4:30AM~10:30AM||12 Trains||7.5 Minutes|
MRT3 stations are located in North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Kamuning, Cubao and Santolan-Annapolis, all in Quezon City; Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City; Shaw Blvd. and Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong City; Guadalupe, Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia), Ayala Avenue and Magallanes Avenue in Makati City; and Taft Avenue in Pasay City.
Three main types of stations were adopted namely:
Stations are averagely spaced 1,300 meters apart; with the closest spacing about 730 meters and the farthest, 2,210 meters, all providing basic disabled friendly and commuter responsive facilities such as platforms, view-decks, elevators and escalators, public crossings and other amenities.
Each station's concourse area is divided into paid and unpaid sections. The paid section is a secured area accessible only to MRT passengers who have bought and inserted a fare ticket in any of the entry gates. The unpaid section is the public section where ticket vending and other commercial vending machines, rail travel and other local transportation information boards, and advertising panels and pedestals are located.
Safety has been stressed in all stations, which are equipped with a modern communications system, closed circuit television for security monitoring, public address system, fire stand pipes and hoses and wash down bibs.
The underground Depot maintenance complex has a total area of 84,444 square meters located at the 16 hectare North Avenue Extension in Quezon City. It serves as the headquarters for light and heavy maintenance and operation of the system.
A spur line connects the depot with the mainline rail tracks, providing ingress and egress for the movement of rail cars from both points. The stabling, which is the temporary storage for revenue vehicle is composed of 9 tracks which is capable of storing 81 rail cars with space provided for the storage of 40 additional rail cars in the future.
Major equipments for Rolling Stock Maintenance are found on the MRT3 Depot:
- Car Hoist & Body Stand (4 sets)
- Bogie Repair Hoist (4 sets)
- Bogie Turntable (Electric Type) (8 sets)
- Air Compressor (2 sets)
- Underfloor Wheel Lathe (1 set)
- Undercar Blowdown System (1 unit)
- Car Progressor (1 set)
- Overhead Crane 10 tons (3 sets)
- Jib Crane (8 sets)
- Wheel Press 150T (1 set)
Tracks and Guideways
- Mainline double tracks about 16.9 km consisting of elevated plinth tracks, at grade ballasted track and bridge track
- Switches and crossing: 26 units on the mainline, 2 units at the access line, 48 units at the depot
- Maximum gradient is 5%
- Rail track gauge 1435 mm
- Rail wt is 54 kg/M
- Rail fastenings by PANDROL
- 9km elevated tracks
- 7km at grade tracks
- 0.9km underground tracks
- Typical spanning elevated guideway: 3 at 30.00 meters; 3 at 27.00 meters
- Type of girder for elevated guideway AASHTO GIRDER 1-135 M span steel Bridge at Guadalupe
- Width of guideway: w/OCS mast-9.0; w/o OCS = 8.30 M
- Guideway tracks: slab track & ballasted tracks
- For seismic design ground acceleration (Ag) = 0.5 the same with station bldg. foundation is bored pile
Signaling And Train Controls
ATP (Automatic Train Protection) System is a computer based interlocking and signaling and Track Circuit with the Central Control and Monitoring located at the Control Center in North Avenue Station. The Mainline is divided into 3 local areas, each has a MAN900 computer, an Ebilock 950 Interlocking computer and a back-up Ebilock 950, and a Field Engineering Unit Computer. All areas are controlled by a central MAN 900 computer. The whole line is viewed in NR display computer.
Traction Supply System
Traction Power System
Operation and maintenance of traction power and composite substations covering fourteen (14) areas (Depot and 13 stations). Traction power substation covering eight (8) station supply DC750V OCS power to mainline for train operation, and connected in parallel for flexibility/continuity OCS power supply in case any TPSS station is lost due to MERALCO power failure.
Overhead Catenary System
The Overhead Catenary System being used is based upon range of aluminum components procured from Adtranz of Germany. Other components were sourced from Siemens in Germany and Arthur Flurry in Switzerland. These components represent a proven technology and has been used widely on rail transportation in Europe. Conductors, clamps and mast were sourced from Australia and Europe with a number of components being manufactured locally. The system consists of an overhead contact system electrified at 750V DC. Power is drawn from MERALCO network at 34.KV phase 60Hz and reduced to 750V DC at the traction power substations.
Automatic Fare Collection System
MRT3 is operating an Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) which utilizes contactless cards as fare medium. The system uses a distance-based fare collection. The Automatic Exit Gate deducts and computes the trip and records pertaining data on the card. The Gate can handle up to 30 passengers per minute.
Station Automatic Gates
Segregates the unpaid and paid areas of each station, and provide the check-in and check-out functions for the contactless cards. A total of 195 units are installed for the whole system.
Point of Sale Terminals
Primary means of interfacing with contactless cards. A total of 81 units are installed for the whole system.
Ticket Vending Machines
Automates sale and dispensing of SJTs and SVCs, as well provide SVC-specific services such as card status inquiry and Add Value/Top-Up. A total of 28 units are installed for the whole system.
Serves as the central hub of all AFCS devices within each station. A total of 13 units are installed for the whole system.
Monitoring and Control Workstation
Provides access to monitor and control all station equipment throughout the line. One (1) unit is installed for the whole system.
Central Computer Station
Provides access to control and monitoring of line-related functions such as generation of reports and parameter updates. One (1) unit is installed for the whole system.
Central Clearing House
Receives transaction data from all Rail Operators, reconciliation and settlement of transactions and manages parameter data common to all Rail Operators . One (1) unit is installed for the whole system.
Radio Communication System
An MRT3 trunk radio is used to facilitate communication between Control Center and Train Driver using the Mainline Channel, while the Depot Channel is used by the Engineering Department during train movements at Depot Area and Emer Channel is used by Station's Operation.
Public Address System
The Public Address System is used to convey messages to passengers and station personnel. It has 12 preset digital pre-recorded safety messages and 4 track tape console for pipe-in music, and 16 pieces 150 watts power amplifiers to obtain maximum loudness.
CCTV Monitoring System
This is used for monitoring passengers for safety and surveillance purposes. Cameras are installed in various locations such as platform area, concourse and elevators. These cameras are viewed and monitored at Station Control Room. While at Depot, cameras are installed at different locations and can be viewed and monitored at the Yard Master Room.
PABX Telephone System
The System interconnects internal telephone calls and outside calls with the aid of auto attendant computer. It maximizes 20 trunk lines for 32 digital local lines and 150 analog local lines serving 16.9 kilometer main telephone cable with 14 Main Distribution Frames.
Station Building Amenities
Escalators, Elevators, Rest Rooms & Water Supply, Sump Pumps, Video Monitors, Supervisors & Ticketing Room.
A Citizen’s Charter refers to an official document, a service standard, or a pledge, that communicates in simple terms, information on the services provided by the government to the citizens. It also describes the step-by-step procedure for availing particular service, and the guaranteed performance level that may be expected for that service.
As required by Republic Act No. 9485 (Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007), the DOTC-MRT3 provides riding procedures in availing the services of MRT3.
Procedures in Buying MRT3 Tickets