MANILA - Regular passenger service for the Metro Manila subway will begin by 2025, the Department of Transportation said Monday, where base fare for the railway system may start at P22.
Interviewed on ANC, Transportation Undersecretary Timothy Batan said some key facilities of the country's first subway system may partially operate by the end of the year.
"We will have some of our key facilities operational by the end of 2021. So, that's going to include East Valenzuela station, the Philippine Railways Institute, the depot for the subway," he said. "So, that's what we will be seeing by the end of the year but full operations and regular passenger service will begin by 2025."
Based on DOTr's feasibility study, the boarding fare for the service is expected at P22, with additional P2 per kilometer depending on the distance traveled.
"That's the fare that we projected, and based on our earlier study, this is going to be sufficient to cover operating cost," the transportation official said.
Batan also allayed concerns the construction of the project, which has a price tag of P350 billion, would compound traffic in the Philippine capital.
"One of the advantages here is aside from being faster than your usual reconditional methods, it will have less interference in the traffic above ground," he said, referring to the tunnel boring machine that would be used to dig underground.
Financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the subway system is expected to have the "same level of quality and service as what is present in Japan," Batan said.
"It's going to adapt Japanese technology because that's one of the conditions in our loan agreement with Japan. So, our designers, general consultants [and] contractors are all going to be Japanese for the subway," he added.
On Friday, the DOTr unveiled a part of a tunnel boring machine, the head cutter that is crucial to the construction of the subway.
The Metro Manila subway project is the first underground railway system project in the Philippines, which aims to provide mass transportation in the capital region, from Valenzuela City to Bicutan, Parañaque and the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay.
The project was approved in 2014 and broke ground in February 2019.
In 2019, transportation analysts said that while it is technically possible to finish the subway construction in 6 years, it would increase the total cost of the project.