Ayala to build 'Gangnam-style' bus terminal?

by Cathy Rose A. Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Dec 26 2012 03:16 PM | Updated as of Dec 27 2012 04:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is mulling the possibility of building an integrated transport system (ITS) terminal in Quezon City to be patterned after the Seoul Express Bus Terminal in Gangnam district. 

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on Wednesday said Ayala is likely to submit an unsolicited proposal for the ITS project to be built in near the Trinoma mall in North Triangle, Quezon City. 

"Yung sa Ayala, it's because they are already in the Trinoma area. Most likely they might submit an unsolicited proposal for this. That is allowed, not prohibited. But this will be subject to a Swiss challenge," Abaya told ABS-CBNnews.com. 

"They're submitting soon, kasi matutuloy talaga ang project na yun," he added, referring to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) ITS project. 

A separate source said Ayala Land executives were with Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) officials who recently visited South Korea to look at the Seoul Express Bus Terminal's operations. 

The Seoul Express Bus Terminal, located in Gangnam, is the main bus terminal in the South Korean capital. Passengers can buy tickets with designated seat numbers, while the departure and arrival of buses are synchronized. The bus terminal is also linked to the Seoul subway. 

The DOTC's ITS project involves constructing three mass transportation terminals that will connect commuters from provinces to the MRT-3, LRT 1 and 2, buses, taxis and other public utility vehicles in Metro Manila. It is expected to help decongest traffic along EDSA and make it easier for commuters to travel to and from Metro Manila. 

"The integrated transport system will be intermodal with 3 locations. One is at FTI - there you have SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) and PNR (Philippine National Railways). Then the Trinoma North Triangle area, you have MRT-3, LRT-1 and eventually MRT-7, and the buses coming from Mindanao Avenue, it falls in that area. The other one is at the Coastal mall, the reclamation area, Cavitex and at the same time LRT-1 will go through the station," Abaya said.

The Transportation Secretary said there will be an open competitive bidding for each of the terminals. 

"Hopefully we can bid it out first quarter or first semester. The construction period is a year and a half," Abaya said. 

Ayala Land is currently developing the first phase of Vertis North in the North Triangle property next to Trinoma Mall. The P65-billion, 29-hectarre Vertis North project will have 45 towers, composed of offices, retail space, a hotel, residential buildings and open spaces, to be developed over a 10-year period.