• Business group urges completion of EDSA common train station

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    THE country’s biggest business group urged the expeditious completion of the common train station to link the Light Rail Transit 1 (LRT1), Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3) and the MRT7 rail commuter lines that is expected to serve 1.5 million commuters.

    “We fully support the MoA [Memorandum of Agreement] executed among the train operators of LRT1, MRT3 and MRT7 and the Department of Transportation [DoTr] agreeing to the intersection of EDSA and North Avenue in Quezon City as the location of the common train station,” the Management Association of the Philippiines (MAP) said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The MoA is a significant breakthrough in the almost decade-long impasse in the construction of a vital mass transportation hub in Metro Manila and coming so soon after the Duterte administration took over, the association added.

    The grand central train station will finally provide the vital link between the heavily used MRT3 and LRT1 as well as connect them with the recently approved MRT7, whose construction is ongoing. This hub will serve over a million daily commuters in the three train lines and allow them to transfer from one line to another more conveniently.

    The new design calls for a more spacious station with a total floor area of 13,700 square meters compared to the 7,200 square meters in the 2009 plan which was designed to link only two train lines.

    It will also provide double tracks for both LRT1 and MRT3 for reliability and efficiency of their operations. Necessarily, the new design will cost more.

    “We agree that the grand common station to serve commuters in all train lines—LRT1, MRT3 and MRT7—will be undertaken by the government through the DoTr, except for the respective areas assigned to the private stakeholders and concessionaires. The government, by undertaking the common station and underwriting its cost, would facilitate the implementation of this long delayed project. By doing so, it would be a judicious investment of taxpayer funds on a vital mass transportation facility to serve train commuters,” the association said.

    “We trust the project will be undertaken with transparency and adherence to required bidding rules and procedures to secure the most qualified contractor and best possible cost. We recommend the use of faster and less traffic-disruptive construction method, such as pre-cast concrete sections for the viaduct as used in similar projects abroad,” MAP added.

    “The common station impasse must be finally solved. Now that all stakeholders from the public and private sectors have agreed on a solution, all remaining hindrances must be quickly set aside to clear the way for its speedy execution,” MAP said.

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