Gov't sees 20 MRT trains operating in 6 months

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 2) -- The Department of Transportation (DOTr) sees up to 20 operating trains for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) in 6 months, Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan told CNN Philippines New Day.

Batan said they are optimistic of this target with the entry of Japanese rehabilitation service providers in May.

The government announced in November 2017 that Japanese firm Sumitomo Corporation and technical partner Mitsubishi Industries would be returning as service provider.

READ: DOTr: New MRT-3 maintenance provider could start work by April 2018

Batan added they are "on track" with their deliverables as they achieved 10 operational trains by early March and 15 trains after the Holy Week.

"After our Holy Week general maintenance as of this morning, we are on track to deploying 15 trains for today," he said. As of 2:18 p.m. there are 15 trains running.

DOTr last fielded 15 trains on January 5.

The MRT as well as Light Railway Train Lines 1 and 2 were shut down during the Holy Week break for general maintenance.

Authorities will discuss with Japanese government representatives this week on the specifics of the MRT rehabilitation program.

"We are on track to gradually restoring MRT to the service our passengers deserve," Batan said.

The MRT runs on EDSA from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.