01 October 2015, MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Two weeks into the operations of LRT Line 1, Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) has 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 approximately 400,000 passengers daily.
LRMC President and Chief Executive Officer Jesus P. Francisco said the company is prioritizing the baseline requirements for passenger safety and convenience. “The priority is to bring back more light rail vehicles (LRVs) on the line to reduce the customers’ waiting time,” he stressed. “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.”
As part of LRMC’s system-wide review, the assessment of the power supply system, line and catenary system, signaling, and telecommunications is also being undertaken. “Together with DOTC and LRTA, LRMC will work to complete the full assessment of Line 1 as soon as possible,” he added.
Earlier, the company has disclosed plans to upgrade the passenger terminals, including facilities such as escalators and elevators – all 32 of which across the stations will be repaired and overhauled. Already, the company has started with the restoration of lighting at all passenger terminals for enhanced passenger safety.
“LRMC is committed to passenger safety and convenience which are the foremost objectives of our partnership with the Government,” Francisco explained. “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 which we hope will come as per DOTC and LRTA’s timetable.”
LRMC is a joint venture company of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation (MPLRC), Ayala Corporation’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation (AC Infra), and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd. (MIHPL).
On October 2 last year, LRMC signed a Concession Agreement with the DOTC and LRTA for the P65-billion LRT 1 Cavite Extension, Operation & Maintenance Project which is part of the 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan (PDP) of the Philippine Government to accelerate infrastructure.
LRTA operated LRT 1 until September 12, 2015, when it was turned over to LRMC. LRT 1 was originally constructed in 1981 with 18 stations from Baclaran to Monumento. Full commercial operations started in May 1985. A further 5.7-kilometer and two additional stations were added to the existing line at the northern end, with full operation from Baclaran to Roosevelt commencing October 22, 2010.