LRT-MRT common station to rise between SM, Trinoma

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After DOTr forges consensus with stakeholders

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AFTER a seven-year legal deadlock, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Tuesday that it has forged a consensus with stakeholders on a single location for the common station that will connect the LRT Line 1, MRT-3, and the proposed MRT-7.

The DOTr, Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI), Universal LRT Corp. (ULC) and Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC), North Triangle Depot Commercial Corporation represented by Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today, September 28, to finalize the agreement.

The MOU will pave the way for the filing of a joint motion to the Supreme Court to lift the temporary restraining order on the construction of the common station for the three urban transit lines.

The common station, which will be built between SM North EDSA and Trinoma, with access to both malls and major roads such as EDSA, will provide a common concourse or atrium for train commuters to conveniently transfer from one line to another.

The DPWH also assured that the underpass being built will seamlessly integrate with the common station.

Getting all parties to agree was among the targets set by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade within the first 100 days in office, and it involved engaging all stakeholders in meetings in order to reach a consensus.

In a meeting earlier this month, the country’s top executives–SM’s Tessie Sy Coson and Hans Sy, Ayala’s Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, San Miguel’s Ramon Ang, and Metro Pacific’s Manny Pangilinan–agreed that a unified station was necessary to make commuting more convenient to the public.

The Common Station project started in 2009 and has been on hold due to legal issues.

The LRTA inked a deal with SMPHI to build the station near SM North EDSA. Five years later, the Department of
Transportation and Communications (DOTC) decided to build the station near Ayala’s Trinoma, citing lower costs as a reason for the change of location.

The Supreme Court intervened and issued a TRO in favor of SMPHI to stop the construction of the common station.

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4 Comments

  1. After over seven years of legal tug-of-war between the two malls, this is good news nevertheless. LRT and MRT riders may soon be spared from the additional hassle of physically making a PUJ /PUB transfer from one line to the other – a convenience that should have been afforded them way back in 2010 if the DOTC under the Aquino administration hadn’t favored the Ayala Group’s Trinoma Mall over what is logically the most practical location to build it.

    The most practical spot happened to fall on SM City North EDSA’s doorstep, which was why the original plan by experts was to build it there and that was why the original contract was awarded to the SM Group in 2009 (see original and revised plans and PDI’s Conrado Banal III’s opinion in my preceding article titled “The Proposed LRT-MRT Grand Central Station: COMMUTERS’ DREAM TURNED INTO A NIGHTMARE”). Sad to say for SM Group, and the LRT & MRT-riding public, the Aquino administration came to power so vested interests got in the way of common sense.

    Anyhow, I guess that Sec. Tugade made the most appropriate decision in going for a compromise solution because if the SM Group insisted on what is rightfully the just resolution – it may be another seven years of legal wrangling that won’t only continue to hurt the thousands of commuters but two giants’ own business interests as well.

    (See also http://www.consumerword.wordpress.com or http://www.facebook.com/consumerword or http://www.consumerword.blogspot.com)

  2. Thank you very much Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas for being IDIOTS and making Filipinos wait for many years.
    Nasaan man kayong dalawa, kayo ang dalawang pinaka-walang kwentang mga tao sa Pilipinas.

  3. violeta agwayas on

    Dapat kung ano ang convenient sa mga mananakay ang masunod kung saan ilalagay commont station hindi yong convenient sa dalawang mall.

  4. It is a “solomonic” decision – cut the baby in half, and build the station “in-between” the two shopping malls, instead of “at” one or the other. As an urban planner, I am happy at the decision. It also validates the fact that urban pklanning, and this one concerns urban transport planning, a sub-set of city planning, is not really just a function of physical parameters, butmore on policy agreements between govt and private parties. What happened may be called “consensus planning”. A policy has been agreed upon,not comes the project design and the environmental assessment.