Groundbreaking for a common station that will connect key Metro Manila rail lines was held on Friday and officials said the project — delayed for nearly a decade due to a dispute over its location — would finally be completed in 2019.
“We will finish this for the benefit of the majority,” Transportation Tugade said in the vernacular during ceremonies in Quezon City.
The common station will connect the Light Rail Transit-1, Metro Rail Transit-3, the upcoming MRT-7 and the just-approved Metro Manila subway.
To be built at a cost of P2.8 billion, the 13,700-square meter facility is expected to serve 478,000 passengers daily by 2020.
The SM Group was awarded rights to the common station in 2009 after it paid the government P200 million in exchange for locating it beside, and naming it after, the SM City North Edsa mall.
A change in government, however, led to a decision to relocate the station to the nearby TriNoma mall as this would reportedly lead to some P1 billion in savings.
The SM Group sued and the Supreme Court subsequently restrained the government from implementing the project. It was only when the Duterte government took over last year that a compromise was reached.
The common station will now be located between and connect the SM North EDSA and TriNoma malls.