The Department of Transportation said the operations of MRT 3 would be suspended during four weekends of July to September to continue with the fast-tracking of rail replacement works, which is scheduled to be finished by September 2020.
The agency said the suspended weekend operations will cover July 4-5, August 8-9, August 21-23, and September 12-13.
“Rail replacement works to be done during the weekend suspension include turnout works for both the southbound and northbound tracks at North Avenue and Taft Avenue stations. Turnouts are used to enable trains to switch from one track to another,” DOTr said.
After rail replacement works are completed, the agency said train operating speed will gradually increase from 40kph to 60kph by December 2020, and headway, or the interval between trains, will gradually decrease to 3.5 minutes.
The weekend suspension of operations will also enable Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the service provider for MRT-3’s comprehensive rehabilitation, to perform rail destressing, rerailing, turnouts replacement, resurfacing, rail profile grinding, ballasting and tamping, and other major works for MRT-3’s trains, electrical systems, and other subsystems.
To accommodate MRT-3’s weekend passengers during the weekend suspension of operations, MRT-3, together with DOTr Road Sector and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTRFB), will implement its bus augmentation program.
As of 21 June, the bus augmentation project for MRT-3 passengers was able to serve 1,956 passengers with a total of 20 bus units deployed.
The bus augmentation service is available from Monday to Sunday, 5:30AM to 8:00PM, from the North Avenue station to Taft Avenue station (both bounds).
Passengers going southbound will be picked up in the North Avenue and Quezon Avenue stations and will be dropped off in Ayala and Taft Avenue stations.
Meanwhile, passengers going northbound will be picked up in Taft Avenue at Ayala stations and will be dropped off in Ayala, Quezon Avenue and North Avenue stations.