Two big-ticket projects in the railway sector are set for launch this year, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade announced on Monday, April 26.
In his presentation during the Sulong Pilipinas 2021 forum Tugade bared that the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) East Extension Project and the Common Station Project are both nearing completion.
“First, the LRT-2 East Extension Project, with two additional stations in Marikina and Antipolo, is set for inauguration in June,” Tugade said.
The East Extension Project intends to add four kilometers to the 13.8-kilometer LRT-2 train line which currently runs from Recto Avenue in Manila to Santolan Station in Marikina. The two new stations are Emerald Station, also in Marikina; and Masinag Station located at the Masinag Junction in Antipolo City.
Once the project is completed, travel time from Recto to Masinag is expected to significantly drop to about 40 minutes from the usual three hours via bus or jeepney.
The LRT-2 East Extension will accommodate an additional 80,000 passengers daily, boosting the entire rail line’s current daily ridership to 240,000 passengers.
“The second one is the Common Station. This [is] a project that has been delayed for nine years and will finally be partially operable by the fourth quarter of 2021,” Tugade said.
This project will feature a 13,700-square meter concourse area that will connect the LRT Line 1, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), and the Metro Manila Subway.
Designed to enable passengers to seamlessly transfer from one rail line to another, the Common Station is expected to serve around 478,000 passengers daily once operational.
The DOTr chief said the agency closed the year 2020 with the awarding of 34 railway contracts — a huge increase from the nine railway ccontracts awarded in 2016.
These include the LRT-1 Cavite Extension, Manila to Clark Railway, MRT-7, and Mindanao Railway, among others.
“We expect to add 20 more contracts before we step down in 2022,” Tugade said.
“The investment poured by this administration in the railways sector under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is significantly larger than the total railway investments in the last 50 years combined,” he added.