Robert Sobrepeña, Chairman of MRT Holdings, Inc., MRT’s private owner, raises safety concerns about the new coaches from a Chinese firm supplies that it has no track record of building a similar train type — chairman says “I wouldn’t ride it,”.
Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system in the coming months is guaranteed by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to commuters through the arrival of these new coaches.
But the mother company of the MRT Corporation and private owner of the MRT which is the MRT Holdings, Inc., stresses that it will not recommend taking the new train for safety reasons.
“We feel this is a danger to the riding public. Not to mention a danger to the system itself. It might destroy the MRT system itself, that we own,” MRTH Chairman Robert Sobrepeña said.
MRTH also said that Chinese firm Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co., Ltd., has no track record of building a similar type of train, which is actually the supplier of the coaches.
“That means this is a guinea pig that we are testing. I wouldn’t ride it. I wouldn’t risk my life on an LRV (light rail vehicle) manufactured by a company that’s never made such an LRV,” Sobrepeña said.
The new units are ready to operate in two months, but the company said these aren’t ready because of incomplete tests. The prototype and new coaches are required to undergo 5,000-kilometer test run in China before its shipment to the country but claims these were not met.
It questioned the three-year maintenance contract awarded to the Busan consortium, composed of Busan Transportation Corporation, Edison Development & Construction, Tramat Mercantile, Inc., TMICorp Inc., and Castan Corporation.
It claims that the consortium’s Filipino partners are not into mass transportation.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya disputed the claims and said “Nanghuhula lang sila. Galing sa ere yan,” Abaya said. (English Translation: They’re just making guesses out of air.)