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Common rail station agreement reached

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Common rail station agreement reached

Transportation agency to sign pact with MRT, LRT operators today
/ 12:10 AM January 18, 2017

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is signing a more definitive deal with big conglomerates today on a “common” railway station that will link three major elevated train lines traveling through Quezon City.

The DOTr said Tuesday that a memorandum of agreement would be sealed with SM Prime Holdings Inc., San Miguel Corp. and Light Rail Manila Corp., operator of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 jointly owned by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp.

Also joining the signing event are officials from the the Department of Public Works and Highways and the state-run Light Rail Transit Authority.

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DOTr spokesperson Cherie Mercado said the parties were able to proceed with today’s event after the common station’s design was finalized.

“We have moved forward with the designs. Basically from the past signing, we worked on all parties’ interests with the prime consideration of passengers’ comfort,” Mercado said in a text message.

She said the agreement would likewise recognize commitments made under the previous administration.

“We’re happy and proud we have managed to get everyone on a platform of ‘level of service’ to passengers,” she added.

The signing is seen as the next milestone after the stakeholders came together on Sept. 28 last year to broadly agree that a common station would be built on a property between SM City North Edsa and Ayala Land Inc.’s Trinoma shopping mall.

That September 2016 memorandum of understanding, which was short on details, was nevertheless a welcome development under the current administration.

It followed a multiyear legal quarrel between the Aquino administration-led transportation department and the SM group, which sued for breach of contract.

Under that plan, a single railway station would serve as a transfer point between the LRT-1, Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 and the MRT-7, which was expected to be completed by 2020. LRT-1 and MRT-3 already handle close to a million commuters a day.

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