JICA backs study on North-South commuter rail project

by Rainier Allan Ronda, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 22 2015 11:33 AM | Updated as of Feb 22 2015 07:33 PM

TOKYO – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide technical assistance for the conduct of a feasibility study on the North-South Commuter Rail project proposed by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

The North-South Commuter Rail is envisioned to have a route length of 91 kilometers and will be an elevated railway with modern, high-capacity trains running from Malolos, Bulacan to Calamba, Laguna.

The feasibility study is for the Malolos to Tutuban, Manila stretch only.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya earlier said the Tutuban to Calamba stretch would be offered to prospective investors via the Aquino government’s public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

Jin Wakabaayshi, director of JICA’s Southeast Asia Division 5, told The STAR the agency already expressed its commitment to support the conduct of the feasibility study to Philippine government officials.

Wakabaayshi also said the North-South Commuter Rail and a subway along EDSA were in the list of big-ticket projects recommended in the Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and its Surrounding Areas, which was submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority in June 2014.

According to the roadmap, the EDSA subway is envisioned to serve as the second north-south mass transit, running from San Jose del Monte, Bulacan to Dasmariñas, Cavite.

If pursued, the two railway projects are expected to strengthen connectivity between Metro Manila and adjoining municipalities in Central Luzon and Calabarzon, thereby decongesting the metropolis.

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