MANILA -- The Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) has contracted the services of private company Commsec, Inc. for the PHP100-million upgrade of the closed-circuit television (CCTV) system of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1).

“With the upgrade, which is estimated to take two years to complete, crowd monitoring will be more effective. This will also later on feed into an automated system that will inform passengers which stations are heavy, moderate or light, thus helping them plan their trips better,” LRMC president and chief executive officer Juan Alfonso said in a statement Thursday.

He said the firm will install about 500 high-resolution surveillance cameras with increased storage capacity to ensure the safety and security of passengers at LRT-1 stations, depot and other facilities.

The CCTV system features an enhanced software that could count the number of passengers waiting for a train, check the entry of trespassers into unauthorized areas of the system, and help alert LRMC on suspicious objects lying unattended in a station.

It will also enable train drivers to ensure that doors safely close before the train leaves a station through a monitor plugged into multiple cameras pointed at each train door.

Earlier this month, the LRMC signed a PHP650-million deal with First Balfour, Inc. and MRail, Inc. for the rehabilitation of 11 substations of LRT-1.

The rehabilitation would replace substation equipment, such as critical switch gears, rectifiers, transformers, and cables for a period of two years.

Since taking over the LRT in 2015, the LRMC has implemented measures, which resulted in the improvement of its operations, and ensured the orderliness and cleanliness of all its trains and stations, which currently serve an average of 500,000 passengers daily.

The LRMC managed to increase the number of operating trains from 77 to 112, increase the number of daily trips from 505 to 554 and extended the operating hours to serve more passengers and reduce queuing time in stations and trains.

The LRMC is a consortium put up by Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Ayala Corp., and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings and took over the operations and management of LRT-1 in September 2015. (PNA)