Shorter MRT operation hours as DoTr probes decoupling incident

Shorter MRT operation hours as DoTr probes decoupling incident

At around 9:12 a.m. on Thursday, two MRT coaches were detached from the main train pulling it, leaving around 130 to 140 passengers stranded. Ivan Caballero Villegas

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Rail Transit-3 on Friday announced shorter operating hours as it continues its probe into the decoupling incident on Thursday morning.

Transport Undersecretary Cesar Chavez, in a message to reporters, announced that the MRT will start to operate at 5:30 a.m.

The last revenue will leave the North Avenue station at 9:10 p.m., while the last revenue train will depart Taft Avenue station at 9:50 p.m.

A notice has also been posted on train stations starting Friday morning.

Before the decoupling incident, the MRT-3 operated from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on weekdays.

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The shortened operation hours is to give way to the maintenance group's inspection and maintenance of the Light Rail Vehicles.

A headway of 5.5 minutes will be given to the operating trains during weekdays, while a headway of 7.5 minutes will be implemented on Saturdays and Sundays.

Only 15 trains will be running for weekdays, while only 12 will be operating on weekends.

Before the decoupling incident, the line ran 18 to 20 trains a day.

On Thursday morning, a coach of the MRT detached from the train pulling it, leaving more than a hundred passengers behind.

Human intervention?

Chavez said that according to the initial investigation on the incident, the MRT Technical Team found out that the "messma card" or black box of the decoupled LRV.

The black box records all applied interventions in the incident.

Chavez said that they are looking into "human intervention" angle as cause of the incident.

"Who has the motive? Who has the opportunity? Who has the capability of removing the black box?" Chavez added.

Safety Chief Technician Ruel Jose ruled out electrical damage as cause of the incident as there was "no damage to the mechanical parts of the coupler."