DOTr eyes 2 new railway projects to aid commuting woes in Metro Manila

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2021 09:02 PM | Updated as of Feb 25 2021 02:52 PM

MANILA - Two new railway projects in Metro Manila are in the works in a bid to ease commuting woes in the capital region and decrease the potential economic losses brought about by traffic congestion, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Wednesday. 

In a virtual forum, Transportation Undersecretary Timothy John Batan said the agency has started bidding for the general contractor for the LRT-2 extension. 

Batan explained that the project would have additional 3 stations — Tutuban, Divisoria, and Pier 4 — when completed. The additional two stations at the east extension, Marikina and Antipolo stations, meanwhile, will start operating on April 26. 

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The project, pegged at P10.1 billion, will be funded through the national budget, according to the official. The DOTr targets to complete the new LRT-2 extension in 2024.

Batan also bared the DOTr plan to revive the shelved 16-kilometer MRT-4 project conceptualized in 1995 during the Ramos administration.

The MRT-4 project, with 11 stations, will run from N. Domingo St. in San Juan City, to Taytay in Rizal. Some 200 passengers are expected to benefit from the new line during its first year of operations. The actual construction, however, is expected to begin in 2022.

OTHER RAILWAY PROJECTS

Other railway projects are being continued, according to the official, such as the MRT-7’s depot preparation works at the San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan, and the North-South Commuter Railway line. The latter is expected to partially operate soon from Manila to Lucena. 

LRT-1 line extension construction is also in full swing. Batan said the agency aims to partially operate some of the stations from Redemptorist to Sucat by next year.
 
He said that each new railway project could contribute about 10 percent of economic returns. 

A Netherlands-based global data provider last year said the National Capital Region is the 2nd most traffic-congested city in the world in 2019, based on their study. 

According to the report, most motorists in Manila spent an average of 71 percent extra travel time stuck in traffic.

And a Manila commuter or motorist spent an additional 257 hours in traffic while driving during peak hours.