The MRT-3 is not for sale, but the Department of Transportation said it is considering turning over its operations and maintenance to the private sector.
The DOTR made the statement in response to reports saying that the government is eyeing the sale of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and privatizing its operations and assets due to the high costs of its maintenance.
“We are looking at partnering with private rail operators for the MRT-3’s operations and maintenance under the same scheme with LRT 1 with the rail lines assets remaining government owned,” said Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.
This is expected to enhance the efficiency and safety of the MRT-3 and to reduce its operation costs to keep rated affordable.
“Railway systems should remain the most affordable and safest mode of mass transit in the country,” said Bautista.
The government continues to subsidize the operations of MRT-3, LRT-1, and LRT-2, which traverse Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares.
The build-lease-transfer agreement with Metro Rail Transit Corp. for the MRT-3 is set to expire in 2025.
Under the deal, the DOTr handles the collection of fares while the MRTC maintains the rail line and its train cars.
Once the BLT transfer lapses, the government would have to handle the railway operations.
Photo credit: MRT-3