The Line 3 Metro Rail Transit train woes continue…at least until the new trains arrive by early next year.
For the meantime, to meet the demands of the growing number of commuters taking the Line 3 trains every day, a couple of new schemes were recently implemented by the government which we are going to take a quick look here.
One scheme that was introduced by the Line 3 operators and the transportation department was the articulated bus, which actually has the capacity of 2-3 buses in one long, articulated body, which can hold up to 150 people. Airconditioned, disabled-friendly, and equipped with security cameras, the bus is meant to exclusively serve commuters coming from the Line 3 North Avenue station and will only have 3 stops: Gil Puyat (Buendia) Avenue, Ayala, and Taft Avenue. In addition, the bus will be deployed only during rush hour and will take only the flyovers and vehicular underpasses, thus somehow cutting some substantial travel time. As for the fare, commuters will not be charged for fare other than the Line 3 tickets they already paid for the train.
What has not been made clear yet is how many of these articulated buses will be deployed. Also, the time of operation is yet to be determined and when it will be fully operation as its recent run was just a trial run.
Meanwhile, over at the rail front, another scheme is being implemented called the express train system. Basically, these are trains that skip some stations from its origin to destined stations in the south during rush hour mornings and in the north during rush hour afternoons-evenings.
From May 7 to 13, southbound express trains will be deployed from North Avenue station from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m, running alternately with the regular southbound trains. The following week, northbound express trains will be added, running alternately with regular trains from Taft Avenue station from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. The express trains from North Avenue will only stop at the stations from Gil Puyat/Buendia all the way to the last station in Taft Avenue. Express trains from Taft Avenue will only stop at the stations from Cubao up to the last station which is North Avenue.
With the express trains, commuters would be able to reach their destinations quicker (that is, if their destinations are among those the trains will be stopping over at) and it would somehow be able to address the queueing at the station platforms due to the high volume of passengers taking the train daily.
Of course, the schemes that were introduced are just temporary solutions while the trains have not yet increased in number. Whether they will be enough to somehow relieve the system’s problems even for that short period is something that remains to be seen.