A “common station” in Quezon City meant to link two major elevated railways in the capital—the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) and Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3)—is up for approval by the National Economic and Development Authority, Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said.
“We are ready to get approval. I think we are due to present it in the next Neda board,” Abaya said in a text message.
Getting Neda approval is a key step in moving the much-delayed project forward. This will be followed by a public bidding and, if the auction is successful, the awarding of the contract. The project design and construction will take about one year and a half.
The station, which will be located within the Trinoma mall complex owned by the Ayala Group, would make it easier for commuters using the railways to transfer to either line.
However, the current design is smaller in scope than what was originally intended as it would provide a link only for LRT-1 and MRT-3.
The initial plan, hatched at the start of the Aquino administration, called for the construction of a larger terminal that would service LRT-1, MRT-3 and the upcoming MRT-7. This station was earlier considered to be built across Trinoma at the Sy-owned SM North Edsa.
The MRT-7 line, controlled by San Miguel Corp., would extend the MRT-3, which now ends at the Trinoma shopping mall, to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan province.
Abaya said the decision to locate the new common station at Trinoma was considered a “cheaper” alternative.
Nonetheless, the LRT-1, LRT-2 and MRT-3 are key railways that serve more than a million Metro Manila commuters daily.
The common station project has been delayed due to numerous reviews undertaken since 2010. The DOTC had also changed leadership two times since Jose “Ping” de Jesus stepped down in mid-2011.
LRT 1 is a 20.7-km elevated track that runs from Baclaran in Parañaque City to Roosevelt in Quezon City. LRT 2 is a 13.8-km track that starts in Santolan in Pasig City and runs through Recto in Manila. MRT 3 is a 17-km elevated railway that starts in North Avenue in Quezon City and runs through Taft Avenue, Manila.