New MRT trains to finally run on revenue hours

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — If you are among the thousands of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) commuters longing to see new trains on the railway, officials say they target to get the first set running by next weekend.

The commercial launch was initially set for the end of March, but the MRT-3 management said it had difficulty completing the 5,000-kilometer mileage required under the contract's Term of Reference or TOR.

Since test runs can only be done at night during non-revenue hours, MRT-3 General Manager Roman Buenafe said it took them until April 12 to hit the 5,000 mark.

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But there is more to be done before the management allows commuters to ride the new trains.

Chinese engineers will still train at least 10 MRT-3 operators to familiarize them with the new system.

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Officials are looking into getting two new train sets running by June to add to the average fleet of about 14 to 16 trains daily, though they target to increase train dispatch to about 20 sets starting April.

A total of 16 new trains will be delivered from China until January 2017.

These are expected to increase passenger volume to 800,000 daily from the current average of 400,000 to 500,000.

MRT-3 management said it is now providing solutions to the decade-long problems that have long haunted Filipino commuters.

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