The Light Rail Transit 1 (LRT-1) Cavite extension project is halfway done, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

It said in a statement on Sunday, the DoTr said the completion rate of the 11.7-kilometer Cavite extension was at 47.77 percent as of July.

Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) — a joint venture firm of Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings — secured a 32-year concession to operate and maintain the LRT-1. The LRT-1 has 20 stations, servicing about 500,000 commuters daily.

The company also clinched the deal to construct the Cavite extension.

The project is building eight stations connecting Baclaran station to Niog, Cavite.

Phase one of the project includes five stations — Redemptorist, MIA, Asia World, Ninoy Aquino and Dr. Santos — out of the total eight. The other three stations are Las Piñas, Zapote and Niog.

Once its full commercial operations begin in 2022, the extension will boost the current 500,000-passenger capacity of the LRT-1 to to 800,000 per day, and cut travel time between Baclaran and Bacoor, Cavite from the current one to two hours to only 25 minutes.

By Lisbet K. Esmael