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Ricardo appointed as Shadow Operations Consultant for Manila’s new metro line

30 Mar 2023


Ricardo has been appointed as ‘Shadow Operations Consultant’ for the construction of a 15km route between the province of Rizal and the central business district in eastern Manila.
The role was awarded by the Philippine government’s Department of Transportation and follows our successful delivery of the same role during the current expansion of Sydney’s metro network.
As Shadow Operations Consultant, our team will provide advice and technical input from the viewpoint of the eventual Line 4 concessionaire, helping the project’s designers and construction partners incorporate the day-to-day needs of a modern rapid transit system during key decision points.

Attending an event on March 30th to mark the commencement of our role, Transport Secretary, Jaime J. Bautista, said Ricardo ’s expertise “will help elevate MRT-4 operations to international standards.” 

The full scope of the Shadow Operation Consultant role covers many of the performance, safety integrity, lifecycle cost and environmental safeguards stipulated by the Asian Development Bank in its loan agreement to help commence works.

Ricardo sign Manila Metro agreement

March 2023, Ricardo's team meets the Philippines Secretary for Transport, the Hon. Jaime Bautista, (fourth left) and officials from the Asia Develoment Bank and the Australian Embassy. Ricardo's Andrew Mackay is second-left.
Our responsibilities will range from helping to optimise whole-life costs (such as technology and design recommendations that will influence future staffing requirements), to identifying operational risks and safety hazards, developing passenger flow models, and advising on recruitment, rostering and work scheduling.
We will also ensure appropriate operations and maintenance documentation is developed in readiness for a timely handover to the eventual concessionaire.
Throughout the project our team will be assisted by Seoul Metro, who bring direct experience of daily mass transit operations.
Bringing a 'whole-of-life' perspective
Michael Newman, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, for Ricardo's rail business, said:

"The MRT-4 project is crucial to improving sustainable and safe mobility across Manila. I'm delighted our team will influence the operations of this landmark railway for decades to come. The appointment underscores Ricardo's breadth of Shadow Operator roles across the region".
Andrew Mackay, Technical Director for Ricardo’s rail team in Australia added:

"We are pleased to be appointed by the Department of Transportation as the Shadow Operations Consultant for Metro Rail Transit Line 4. As well as leveraging our considerable international expertise, including the proven partnership we have built with Seoul Metro whilst performing the Shadow Operator role for Sydney Metro, we will bring a ‘whole-of-life’ perspective to ensure that the needs of future operators, maintainers and customers are fully accounted for during every stage of the project”.

A sustainable transit option in a busy urban corridor

As well as improving connectivity between the populous southwestern municipalities of Rizal and Manila’s central district, the new route, featuring 11 stations, is expected to relieve traffic congestion on one of the city’s busiest highways.

“Once operational, more than 400,000 passengers expected to ride the MRT-4 will be more than grateful for solving the perennial traffic problem along the stretch of Ortigas Avenue,” Mr. Bautista said.

By 2018 it was estimated that the same journey was taking up to three hours to complete by car during peak traffic periods. The new MRT Line 4, however, is expected to cover the distance in less than 30 minutes, whilst helping to reduce local air pollution levels along this key transit corridor.