THE Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said delivery of the first batch of 18 coaches for the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) will start in the latter part of 2016.
“We’ve started—that’s an ODA (official development assistance) loan, so we will be following JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) procedures for the 120 coaches. The TOR (terms of reference) have been submitted to JICA for concurrence,” DOTC Secretary Emilio Joseph Abaya told reporters.
“Every step of the way, we need JICA concurrence so there’s twice as much steps. Once we get their concurrence, we publish. JICA wants it quick, we want it quick, they usually process within a week,” Abaya said.
“Delivery of the first batch of 18 coaches is end of 2016.”
LRT-4, LR-6 projects approved
Meanwhile, Public-Private Partnership Center executive director Cosette Canilao said that the NEDA Board has approved two light rail transit projects, namely LRT line 4 and LRT line 6.
The P42.89-billion LRT Line 4 project involves the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of an 11-kilometer rail that will run from SM City Taytay to the intersection of Ortigas Avenue and EDSA Ortigas.
The project hopes to address congestion along Ortigas Avenue and improve transportation to western parts of Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, the P64.71 billion-LRT Line 6 project involves the construction of a 19-kilometer railway from Niyog, Bacoor to Dasmariñas City. The project is expected to cut travel time from Bacoor to Dasmariñas.
The DOTC earlier said it is in talks with the Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) for the turnover of the operation and maintenance of LRT-1 either this month or in October at the latest.
In October last year, LRMC signed with the DOTC and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) a 32-year concession agreement for the operation and maintenance of LRT-1 and the construction of a P65-billion extension project to Cavite.
LRMC is a consortium composed of Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s (MPIC) Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp., Ayala Corp.’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd.
At the signing of the deal last year, MPIC president and CEO Jose Ma. Lim said that the consortium will have 12 months to take over the operations of LRT-1 from the LRTA and 48 months to develop the expanded system.
LRMC was formally awarded the project by the DOTC and LRTA after the consortium submitted the lone bid with a premium bid amount of P9.35 billion.
Under the concession agreement, LRMC will operate and maintain the existing LRT Line 1 and construct an 11.7-kilometer extension from the present end-point at Baclaran to Bacoor, Cavite.
A total of eight new stations will be built along this route, which traverses the cities of Parañaque and Las Piñas up to Bacoor, Cavite.
The extended rail line, where LRMC will invest P35 billion, is envisioned to help ease the worsening traffic conditions in the Parañaque-Las Piñas-Cavite corridor. It is also expected to enhance commercial development around the rail stations.