MANILA — The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) opens the public bidding for Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) Capacity Extension project as part of the government’s effort to upgrade the rail transit’s services.
“As we increase MRT-3’s capacity in order to improve its facilities and provide better services to more passengers, we need to upgrade its ancillary systems as well. With our policy of open and transparent bidding, we know that competition will lead to a more advantageous deal, and therefore, more savings for government,” said DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.
The approved budget for the contract is Php 836,463,049.86, according to the Invitation to Bid published Wednesday. DOTC scheduled a pre-bid conference for interested bidders on May 28, the day when bid documents will also be issued.
The ancillary systems include the upgrading of the rail line’s traction sub-power station and of its depot facilities, construction of the North avenue turnback and the Taft Avenue pocket track extension.
Earlier this year, the transport agency has awarded a contract for the Lot 1 capacity Expansion project which includes the delivery of 48 coaches for the MRT-3 system which is poised to decongest the overcapacity operations of the railway system. The supplier has committed to deliver the said new train coaches by mid-2016 in monthly tranches.
The DOTC has also signed a contract for the new, unified contactless ticketing system for Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 and MRT-3 last March. The automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) aims to cut the queuing line for passengers and allow seamless transfers from one line to another. The project is expected to be fully operational by September 2015.
“While our long-term upgrades are still on the way, we are also looking for quick improvements in the meantime. We have already extended operating hours in the morning, and are now experimenting with the viability of an Express Train service,” added Abaya.
The MRT-3’s morning operations starting at 4:30 a.m. has also been made permanent.
Meanwhile, the express train service of MRT will end this week as the MRT-3 office is expected to submit its recommendations to the transport agency next week.