1.1 Light Rail Transit System (LRT)
The modern day Light Rail Transit systems around the world lie in the intermediate stage of evolution and lie between trams and railways. They try to imbibe the advantages of railways such as speed and greater throughputs while maintaining the flexibility and accessibility of trams. These systems essentially resemble railways in the fact that they operate on electrified rail routes but operate within a city or an urban zone to facilitate movement of public over short distances. The typical characteristics of an LRT are as follows: * High throughput
* Short commute distances
* High stoppage frequency
* Basic amenities and no frills value services
* Dedicated ‘Right of Way’ unlike road sharing like trams The LRT mainly aims at augmenting the existing urban transport systems in modern urban areas since cities are no longer limited in boundaries and are expanding by the day, thus giving rise to traffic congestions and accidents. The LRTs have helped reduce the pressure of passenger cars on roads and provide hassle-free mode of transport to citizens. 1.2 Manila Rail Transit System
Department of Transportation & Communication (DOTC)
Philippines had separately developed three major Public transport systems based on railways viz. metro, light rails and heavy railway. The Filipino Government through the office of the President initiated the integration of the entire public rail transport system including urban and inter-city systems into a single entity known as the Strong Republic Transit System (SRTS). The SRTS was conceptualized to integrate the various modes of rail transport into a seamless system which is reliable and at par with international standards. The SRTS as of now includes the Philippine National Railway (PNR), Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT), and Manila Light Rail Transit System (LRTS). The north rail and south rail are additionally connected through various SRTS projects.
Fig 1: Structure of the SRTS
1.3 Manila Light Rail Transit System
The LRT is the primary form of Public Transport in the Metro Manila area of Philippines. In 1984, the LRT began with a north-south line connecting Niog and Balintawak, known as the ‘Yellow Line’. It was later augmented with a line running east-west in 2004 connecting Santolan to Recto known as the ‘Purple Line’. The schematic diagram of the rail network of Metro Manila region is given in Exhibit 1. 2. Scope
The LRT is operated by the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), a government-owned and controlled corporation under the authority of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). The LRT system on an average serves 579,000 people on a daily basis. Its 31 stations along over 31 kilometers of mostly elevated track form the two lines. Of the 31 kms the ‘Yellow Line’ covers a distance of 17.2 kms and the ‘Purple Line’ covers 13.8 kms as of now. Many passengers who ride the LRT also take various forms of road-based public transport, such as buses, to and from a LRT station to reach their intended destination. Although it aims to reduce traffic congestion and travel times in the metropolis, the transportation system has only been partially successful due to the rising number of motor vehicles and rapid urbanization. The network's expansion is set on tackling this problem. Everyday around 409,000 passengers board the Yellow Line, and 170,000 ride the Purple Line. During peak hours, the Yellow Line fields 24 trains; the time interval between the departure of one and the arrival of another is a minimum of 3 minutes. The Purple Line runs 12 trains with a minimum headway of 5 minutes. With the proper upgrades, the Yellow Line is designed to potentially run with headway as low as 1.5 minutes. The Purple Line can run with headway as low as 2 minutes with throughput of up to 60,000 passengers per hour per direction (pphpd). Recto and Doroteo Jose serve as the sole interchange between both...