MANILA — The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) management has advised passengers to plan trips earlier as it reduces the number of running trains to give way to the installation of new air-conditioning units (ACUs) for LRT-2 train coaches.
“We are advising our passengers to leave their homes earlier than usual because of the expected average of nine to 10 minutes time interval between the arrivals of trains from the usual seven to eight minutes. We beg for your indulgence in this regard as we continue to improve train facilities for your comfort and convenience,” LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said in a statement on Thursday.
The railway operator started installing the new ACUs after it has signed a PHP350 million contract with the joint venture of Multi-Scan Corporation and MRAIL Inc. for the replacement of 80 air conditioning units for 10 running trains of the LRT-2 system in April last year. It is expected to be finished in April this year.
Each four-car passenger trains of the railway system has eight ACUs.
Berroya said the existing air-conditioning units of the LRT-2 trains are needed to be replaced as their cooling capacity has dropped below its normal levels amid the rising temperatures being experienced in the country.
“The ACUs are now unrepairable and outdated and their cooling capacity has dropped to 50 percent of its normal cooling capacity due to the rising temperatures being experienced in the Philippines and the length of years the LRT-2 has been in service. It is thus more efficient and more beneficial to replace the ACU system altogether to give optimum comfort to our passengers,” he said.
The new aircon units are modernized and will use parts from the original equipment manufacturer and the latest technology to seamlessly interface with the train monitoring system.
The ACUs will also use a more environment-friendly refrigerant that is energy-efficient and compliant with the Clean Air Act.
The LRTA assured riders that it will repair four down trains to augment the existing operational trains as it also intends to acquire 14 additional train sets.
“Fielding more trains will reduce the current headway of seven minutes to only four minutes which translates to a shorter waiting time for passengers at LRT-2 stations,” it said in a statement.
Restoration of down trains will be completed in 2019 while the staggered delivery of new trains is expected to be completed in 2020 in time for the opening of the LRT-2 East Extension to Masinag.
The LRTA plans to implement major rehabilitation projects including the refurbishment of stations, improvement of lightings, and replacement of station signage for the LRT-2 within the year. (PNA)