MANILA -- The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will start bidding out several projects including the MRT-LRT common station and the MRT Line 7 in the first quarter of the year.
In an interview with dzMM, DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya mentioned the different projects the agency will start bidding out within the next few months.
He said that despite the existence of rails connecting the MRT and LRT, they had to study the costs of having MRT trains run on LRT rails, and vice versa.
"Nakita namin na mas mura kung magtatayo ng common station," he said.
A common station for the MRT and LRT, which will be located near Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, can be expected after 18 months.
He added that a walkway will be constructed around the common station, so commuters only have to walk for 300-400 meters from the MRT North Avenue Station to go to the common station.
The DOTC has also ordered additional coaches for the MRT.
Abaya said they have chosen a supplier that will deliver coaches within 18 months.
"We ordered 48 coaches. Igu-group together at sila ang sama-samang tatakbo. Our MRT stations are designed for 4-car trains. Right now we have 3-car trains."
The government will spend roughly P4 billion for the additional coaches.
Abaya also talked about the planned MRT Line 7, which will run from Trinoma to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan. It will pass through Commonwealth Avenue.
Bidding for the project will be done within 3 or 4 months.
DOTC will also work on the extension of LRT Line 1 to Bacoor, Cavite and LRT Line 2 to Masinag.
Once these projects push through, 120 coaches will be added to both LRT lines.
Aside from projects to improve both the LRT and MRT, the DOTC has also started working on the Integrated Luzon Railway, which aims to connect Cagayan in the north to Sorsogon in Bicol region.
The agency has hired a group to study the advantages and disadvantages of the said project, and bidding will start as soon as the study is finished.
A commuter rail that will connect Malolos, Bulacan to Calamba, Laguna is also being studied.
"Nakita kasi namin na maraming taga-Malolos o Calamba na sa Maynila nagtatrabaho," Abaya said.
The DOTC has already come up with a plan for the North-South Commuter Rail that would be presented to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for approval.