Running MRT trains, not luxury, the priority

October 06, 2019

A VICE chairperson of the House Committee on Metropolitan Manila Development yesterday said authorities should ensure all trains of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 are moving instead of creating “business class” coaches.

While Sen. Grace Poe’s premium coaches suggestion has a very good objective to raise more revenues and encourage car-owners to leave their cars at home, Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo said the government should focus first on how to prevent disruptions of MRT 3 operations.

Castelo said all logistics and resources should concentrate on how to keep the train moving. “That should be the focus because as of now MRT coaches are erratic, insufficient, and totally unreliable causing inconvenience and suffering to consumers,” said Castelo.

Poe raised the idea of having a business class in MRT 3 where passengers can be charged P200 to P300 per ride. She asked the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to consider her proposal during a recent Senate hearing on the agency’s budget for 2020.

In response, Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade said they will look into Poe’s proposal which is similar to the design of trains to be set up in Clark, Bicol and Mindanao.

However, Castelo said the government should give priority to improve first the plight of commuters.

“Ayusin muna natin ang mga tren bago ang luho,” Castelo said. “The priority now is to have the trains moving free from any defect that would have it bogged down like we are experiencing now,” she added.

She said people will understand even there are no first class coaches as long as the train does not break down.