DOTC reviews MRT-LRT central station project
TRANSPORTATION Secretary Manuel Roxas II wants the planned central station to be shared by several Metro Manila train lines to pay for itself by, among others, being built with store space that can be leased by store-owners.
In a recent interview, Roxas said all government infrastructure projects should have the potential to earn money, if possible, to help the state recover what it spent to have these facilities built.
“We are reviewing the costs of the common station. We are looking at the design and the possible returns for the government,” Roxas said.
“The station will have a big impact for business and we want to make sure that the government gets the most out of it,” he told reporters.
The government has earmarked P2 billion for the construction of the common station. It will be put up on the corner of North Avenue and Epifanio de los Santos (Edsa) in Quezon City.
The new station is part of the “closing the loop” project that will link the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line 1 and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Edsa train lines. It will be shared with the planned MRT-7 line that will link Metro Manila with Bulacan province by rail.
Roxas said that due to its location between the SM North Edsa and the Ayala’s Trinoma malls in Quezon City, the common station had the potential to generate funds for the government.
“What will the government get in exchange for the project?” Roxas said.
The LRT Authority said one of the options being considered was to add floors to the station where store spaces could be leased out. Another option would be to lease the entire facility to a mall operator.
The common station is just one of the projects being reviewed by Roxas, who replaced Jose de Jesus as DOTC head earlier this month.
Also being reviewed is the privatization of the LRT-MRT operations and management (O&M) contract. The DOTC, under De Jesus, tried to bid out a five-year O&M contract for the LRT line 1 and MRT train lines, but Roxas has put the auction process on hold.
He said he wanted to make sure that bidding out a combined O&M for the two train lines was the best option for the government.
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