Private rail operator Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) is stepping up its approach on improving the commuting experience of its patrons. Collaborating with the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde Hub for Innovation for Inclusion (DLS-CSB HIFI), LRMC recently launched Hackatren, a hackathon which aims to crowdsource for IT-centric solutions such as mobile applications that will help in making the customer experience on LRT-1 better.
“LRMC believes in the Filipino talent,” LRMC President and CEO Juan Alfonso said. “With Hackatren, we will showcase the IT programming skills of Filipinos. It will also be a platform for them to contribute to the uplift of customer experience at LRT-1.”
Open to all Filipinos age 18 years old and above who are into programming, designing, and coding, Hackatren encourages applicants to form a team of three to four members, consisting of a designer or an architect, while other members are coders. Shortlisted participants are required to attend the pre-hack event on June 30, 2018, the last day of registration, where the detailed mechanics will be discussed.
The criteria for judging include value, design, development, and uniqueness of the proposed project. LRMC will choose a total of 15 teams during the qualifying round, from which three top winners will be selected. The third prize winner will take home PhP 25,000, the second prize winner will bring PhP 50,000, and the first prize winner will bag PhP 100,000.
Hackatren is part of LRMC's efforts in upgrading the LRT-1, which include increasing the number of trains and trips, and reducing the wait time on the platform. LRMC started assuming operations and maintenance of LRT-1 in September 2015 through a 32-year concession agreement with the Department of Transportation and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA). Since 2015, LRMC has spent PhP 8 billion to date in speeding up the development of Southeast Asia's oldest railway system.
The projects include the replacement of the 26-kilometer rails and parapets, and the light rail vehicle (LRV) rehabilitation program and station improvement. The company also embarked on an automation programme that streamlined business procedures, resulting in an increase in average daily trips by 9.7% from 505 trips in 2016 to 554 trips in 2017. In the first quarter of 2018, LRMC achieved zero failure notice on train availability, punctuality, and reliability.
LRMC is a joint venture company of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation's Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation (MPLRC), Ayala Corporation's AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation (AC Infra), and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure's Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd. (MIPHL).