The Transportation Department expects to complete the construction of a common station that will link Metro Manila’s overhead train system in Quezon City by the middle of 2019, after four conglomerates agreed to the government’s proposal.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the formal signing for the construction of common station for Light Rail Transit Line 1, Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and the planned MRT Line 7 was expected before the end of the year.

“It will be a go and we will finish it in two-and-a-half years. That has been pending for the last seven years,” Tugade said.

SM Group’s Hans Sy, Ayala Corp.’s Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, San Miguel Corp.’s Ramon Ang, Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s Manuel Pangilinan and Tugade signed an agreement in September to build the common station for LRT 1, MRT 3 and the planned MRT 7.

Under the agreement, the stakeholders agreed on the final location for the unified station for LRT 1, MRT 3 and MRT 7, which should be in the vicinity of Edsa and North Avenue.

They also agreed to set a reasonable timetable for the design, preparation, construction and commission of the unified station.

The Transportation Department and the Light Rail Transit Authority acknowledged SM’s naming and interconnectivity rights to the united station as provided in its memorandum of agreement dated September 2009.

The Public Works Department assured an underpass in the area would seamlessly integrate with the common station. The common station project started in 2009 but was put on hold by the Aquino administration.

The LRT Authority initially signed a deal with SM Prime Holdings Inc. to build the station near SM North EDSA. Five years later, the DOTC decided to build the station near Ayala’s Trinoma citing reasons to cut costs.

The Supreme Court intervened and issued a temporary restraining order in favor of SM Prime.

22 December 2016
By Darwin G. Amojelar