MRT-3 OPERATING HOURS EXTENDED; NEW SKED PERMANENT AFTER FEB 24 TRIAL PERIOD

As part of the government solutions to the anticipated traffic buildup in Metro Manila with the implementation of 15 major construction projects this year, the transport department on Thursday said it would extend the Metro Rail Transit Line 3’s (MRT-3) operating hours starting next week. The longer operating hours, which will kick off on Feb. 24, will be done in stages over a four-week period, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said in a statement. A decision will be made afterward on whether or not to make the new schedule permanent, it added.
The MRT-3 currently runs from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. but congestion, especially during peak hours, means that commuters often have to wait for more than an hour just to get inside the station. The DOTC said that for the first phase of the testing period from Feb. 24 to March 7, the MRT will start operations at 4:30 a.m. in the North Avenue station and at 5 a.m. in the Taft Avenue station.

ALSO: MRT, PNR extend operations to mitigate traffic

To ease traffic due to two major road projects, the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) would extend its operating hours, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) said on Thursday. From February 24 until March 7, MRT-3 operations will start at 4:30 a.m. from the North Avenue station and 5:00am from the Taft Avenue station, the DOTC said in their website. Meanwhile, from March 10 to 21, MRT operations will run up to 10:30pm from the North Avenue station and 11:00pm from the Taft Avenue station, on top of the earlier opening hours. Presently, the rail system operations run from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. “This is part of our program to mitigate the traffic situation,” DOTC Spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal said in a statement. Sagcal said the four-week test run was meant to “monitor how much passengers are willing to alter their riding habits by commuting earlier in the morning or later in the evening.”

ALSO: Traffic rerouting options laid out due to Skyway 3 construction

The Skyway O & M Corporation (Somco) on Monday released its rerouting options for motorists avoiding the Skyway Stage 3 construction works. “Motorists who want to avoid the stretch of Osmeña Highway (in straight line) between Quirino Ave. and Buendia-end of Skyway-Slex may use the various alternate routes shown in broken lines,” Somco’s posted image over Twitter said. The image showed nearby roads such as Edsa, Quirino Ave., Taft Ave., Roxas Blvd., Macapagal, and Ayala Ave., among others, as alternate routes. The Skyway Stage 3 construction will start Monday night, coinciding with the construction of another roadwork connecting the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2 to the seaside Entertainment City. The 14.8-kilometer, six-lane expressway launched Jan. 22 was supposed to reduce travel time from Buendia to Balintawak from two hours to 20 minutes or less. Its construction, however, was expected to cause heavy traffic in the area. The project, worth P26.7 billion, will complete the Skyway system from Alabang to Balintawak and will connect the South Luzon Expressway (Slex) and the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex).

EARLY REPORT: Brace for worse traffic jams as metro projects start

Malacañang has pleaded for patience from the public as traffic in Metro Manila is expected to worsen due to major infrastructure projects set to begin today. Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Sonny Coloma said the start of key construction projects such as the Skyway Stage 3 and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2 will produce "short term inconvenience." "We call on our people to share in the burden of sacrifice and bear with short term inconvenience so we can build better roads that will ensure faster travel and more productive living in our highly congested National Capital Region," Coloma said in an interview over government-run dzRB on Sunday. The Skyway Stage 3 project will connect the North and South Luzon Expressways through a 14.8-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway that runs from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak in Quezon City.


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DOTC extends MRT-3 operating hours New sked may become permanent after Feb. 24-March 21 trial period


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2012/03/mrt-passengers.jpg
Commuters ride on the Manila Railway Transit train along Epifanio de los Santos in Manila. AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, FEBRUARY 24, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Miguel R. Camus, Niña P. Calleja - As part of the government solutions to the anticipated traffic buildup in Metro Manila with the implementation of 15 major construction projects this year, the transport department on Thursday said it would extend the Metro Rail Transit Line 3’s (MRT-3) operating hours starting next week.

The longer operating hours, which will kick off on Feb. 24, will be done in stages over a four-week period, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said in a statement. A decision will be made afterward on whether or not to make the new schedule permanent, it added.

The MRT-3 currently runs from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. but congestion, especially during peak hours, means that commuters often have to wait for more than an hour just to get inside the station.

The DOTC said that for the first phase of the testing period from Feb. 24 to March 7, the MRT will start operations at 4:30 a.m. in the North Avenue station and at 5 a.m. in the Taft Avenue station.

From March 10 to 21, it will extend the evening runs up to 10:30 p.m. in the North Avenue station and 11 p.m. in the Taft Avenue station, in addition to the earlier opening hours.

According to the DOTC, “after the four-week testing period, the MRT-3 Office will make its recommendation [to the transportation department] on whether the extended operating hours may be regularized, based on its impact on commuters, daily train maintenance requirements and the additional cost of operation.”

“Our limitations are on maintenance and costs. For maintenance, the coaches have to be checked every night to ensure safety,” DOTC spokesman Michael Sagcal said.

“It seems that we will be able to shorten the turnover process without compromising actual maintenance hours. As for costs, the testing period will allow us to project how much more we need to spend to make it sustainable over time,” he added.

Sagcal said the DOTC was always looking for ways to serve the public better. “We want to deliver convenient, efficient and safe transportation options, especially with the government’s push to improve infrastructure over the next few years,” he stressed.

The DOTC previously announced that the Philippine National Railways would begin its Special Coach service to ply the Tutuban to Sta. Rosa route as another mitigating step to help ease traffic.

Together with the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Authority, it was also finalizing options through which LRT Lines 1 and 2 could accommodate more travelers who would be affected by the various construction works in Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it would be meeting with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and DOTC every two weeks to discuss ideas to decongest major roads in the metropolis.

One of the solutions that was taken up during the first meeting on Tuesday, according to MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, was allowing cyclists to bring their foldable bikes into the MRT-3.

“The proposal was acted on by Transportation Secretary [Joseph Emilio] Abaya,” Tolentino told reporters, adding that the DOTC also announced its plan to extend both MRT and LRT operations by an hour.

Tolentino said that the DPWH, on the other hand, was working on coming up with additional bicycle lanes to encourage more people to turn to the two-wheelers to get to school or the office.

According to him, the MMDA, DPWH, and DOTC will meet regularly for updates on the traffic situation in Metro Manila.
“The regular meetings show how proactive and focused on finding solutions the government is,” Tolentino said.

Construction of two major government infrastructure projects—the Skyway Stage 3 to connect the North Luzon and South Luzon Expressways and the DPWH project connecting the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2 to the seaside Entertainment City—started earlier this week.

Thirteen other government infrastructure projects are also set to be implemented this year.

The MMDA said that the overlapping schedules of the projects would contribute to heavy traffic, particularly in the last quarter of the year. The projected worst-case scenario was that vehicular traffic may end up slowing down to one to nine kilometers per hour on Edsa.

Earlier, Tolentino announced the agency’s plans to hire 400 more traffic enforcers as part of the solutions to help decongest traffic.

At the same time, he appealed for understanding from motorists and commuters, saying that once completed, the projects would benefit them.

While no unusual traffic buildup was observed on Osmeña Highway where two lanes were closed for the Skyway Stage 3 project earlier this week, Tolentino urged private contractors to make full use of the 24/7 construction period allotted to them to ensure that they meet the deadline for the project’s completion.

MRT, PNR extend operations to mitigate traffic By Julliane Love De Jesus INQUIRER.net 2:56 pm | Thursday, February 20th, 2014


FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – To ease traffic due to two major road projects, the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) would extend its operating hours, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) said on Thursday.

From February 24 until March 7, MRT-3 operations will start at 4:30 a.m. from the North Avenue station and 5:00am from the Taft Avenue station, the DOTC said in their website.

Meanwhile, from March 10 to 21, MRT operations will run up to 10:30pm from the North Avenue station and 11:00pm from the Taft Avenue station, on top of the earlier opening hours.

Presently, the rail system operations run from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

“This is part of our program to mitigate the traffic situation,” DOTC Spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal said in a statement.

Sagcal said the four-week test run was meant to “monitor how much passengers are willing to alter their riding habits by commuting earlier in the morning or later in the evening.”

“We will also see whether this will encourage motorists to take the train instead of their cars,” he added.

Meanwhile, the DOTC in its Twitter account also announced the extension of PNR operation from the current 5 a.m to 7 p.m., to an extended 4 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The DOTC made the announcement amid fears that the traffic situation would worsen due to the construction of the Skyway project to connect South Luzon Expressway on Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati City to the North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak, Quezon City, and the construction of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2 to the Entertainment City gambling hub.

Regularizing extension of hours mulled

‎The MRT-3, after the four-week testing period, will then recommend to the DOTC on whether the extension can be made regular.

This will be based on the trial’s impact on the commuters, daily train maintenance requirements, and additional costs of operation.

“Our limitations are on maintenance and costs. For maintenance, the coaches have to be checked every night to ensure safety. It seems that we will be able to shorten the turnover process without compromising actual maintenance hours,” Sagcal said.

“As for costs, the testing period will allow us to project how much more we need to spend to make it sustainable over time,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) is still finalizing options through which LRT Lines 1 and 2 can accommodate more commuters, said the DOTC.

Around 650,000‎ commuters ride the MRT on a daily basis.

Traffic rerouting options laid out due to Skyway 3 construction By Kristine Angeli Sabillo INQUIRER.net 8:34 am | Monday, February 17th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The Skyway O & M Corporation (Somco) on Monday released its rerouting options for motorists avoiding the Skyway Stage 3 construction works.

“Motorists who want to avoid the stretch of Osmeña Highway (in straight line) between Quirino Ave. and Buendia-end of Skyway-Slex may use the various alternate routes shown in broken lines,” Somco’s posted image over Twitter said.

The image showed nearby roads such as Edsa, Quirino Ave., Taft Ave., Roxas Blvd., Macapagal, and Ayala Ave., among others, as alternate routes.

The Skyway Stage 3 construction will start Monday night, coinciding with the construction of another roadwork connecting the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2 to the seaside Entertainment City.

The 14.8-kilometer, six-lane expressway launched Jan. 22 was supposed to reduce travel time from Buendia to Balintawak from two hours to 20 minutes or less.

Its construction, however, was expected to cause heavy traffic in the area.

The project, worth P26.7 billion, will complete the Skyway system from Alabang to Balintawak and will connect the South Luzon Expressway (Slex) and the North Luzon Expressway (Nlex).

It connects Skyway Stage 1 at Buendia, runs along Osmeña Highway, Quirino Ave. towards Plaza Dilao, continues crossing Pasig River, then cuts through at the back of SM Sta. Mesa towards G. Araneta Ave., crosses Aurora Blvd., E. Rodriguez and Quezon Ave. towards Sgt. E. Rivera then along A. Bonifacio towards Balintawak.

INFOGRAPHIC: Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 By AJ Bolando (philstar.com) | Updated January 22, 2014 - 6:50pm 127 3865 googleplus0 4

MANILA, Philippines – Say goodbye to the congested Metro Manila major roads once the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 (MMS3) opens in 2017.

The 14.8-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway, will connect the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), which will shorten travel time from the southern to northern part of Metro Manila from 15 to 20 minutes.

Related story: Buendia to Balintawak in 15 mins? NLEX-SLEX connector launched

Funded through the public-private partnership (PPP) by the government, the MMS3 aims to decongest traffic along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and Carlos P. Garcia Road (C5).

"'Di po ba, halos dalawang oras, ‘pag minalas, ang inaabot nito dahil sa siksikan sa mga kalsada? Kapag nabuksan na po itong MMS 3, papatak na lang sa 15 hanggang 20 minuto ang biyaheng iyan," President Benigno Aquino III said in his speech during the MMS3 launch.

EARLY REPORT FROM PHILSTAR

Brace for worse traffic jams as metro projects start By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated February 17, 2014 - 9:23am 87 384 googleplus0 4


File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang has pleaded for patience from the public as traffic in Metro Manila is expected to worsen due to major infrastructure projects set to begin today.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Sonny Coloma said the start of key construction projects such as the Skyway Stage 3 and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2 will produce "short term inconvenience."

"We call on our people to share in the burden of sacrifice and bear with short term inconvenience so we can build better roads that will ensure faster travel and more productive living in our highly congested National Capital Region," Coloma said in an interview over government-run dzRB on Sunday.

The Skyway Stage 3 project will connect the North and South Luzon Expressways through a 14.8-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway that runs from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak in Quezon City.

It will run through or cross parts of Osmeña Highway, Quirino Avenue, Santa Mesa district via the Nagtahan flyover, Araneta Avenue. Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez, Quezon Avenue, Sgt. Rivera and A.Bonifacio Avenue.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino had advised motorists to prepare for heavy traffic as the Skyway 3 project starts construction at 10 p.m. on Monday.

The STAR reported last week that according to Tolentino, the traffic volume in EDSA will increase by 55 percent once the Skyway 3 project starts with the diversion of traffic.

"There will be no total closure but motorists will have to learn how to drive bumper to bumper and shoulder to shoulder," Tolentino was quoted as saying in the report.

Tolentino said 10 posts will be erected from the foot of the Skyway in Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) in Makati to San Andres in Manila.

According to the project's profile posted on the MMDA's MMRoadway.com website, the advance work for the expressway's Section 1 will be conducted from March to April.

Section 1, which is approximately 3.4 kilometers, covers Buendia to Plaza Dilao.

The construction of the entire P26.5-billion project is expected to be completed by 2017.

INFOGRAPHIC: Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3

Aside from the Skyway Stage 3, other projects also scheduled for construction within the coming months are the following:

In its Twitter account, the Skyway O&M Corporation released an advisory for the traffic rerouting scheme to be implemented due to the construction works.

The advisory said motorists who want to avoid the stretch of Osmeña Highway between Quirino Avenue and the Buendia-end of the Skyway-SLEX may use several alternate routes:


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