TRAIN commuters from the east of Metro Manila may soon enjoy reduced travel time, as the government pushes for the completion of the extension of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT 2) to Masinag in the next five quarters.
But opening the extension to the public will require the government another semester, according to the transportation department, as it still has to complete the electromechanical systems of the facility.
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, who led the groundbreaking for the construction of the Masinag and Emerald stations of the LRT 2 in Antipolo City, said the project will hugely cut travel time from Recto to Masinag from three hours to 40 minutes.
“It will be a timely addition to have both new stations in the LRT Line 2, as we acknowledge the need for greater accessibility of passengers coming from the eastern side of Metro Manila extending to key areas of Antipolo and its nearby cities,” he said.
The additional two stations are designed to accommodate an additional 80,000 passengers daily during its first five years of operation, which will add to the current LRT 2 average daily ridership of 240,000.
“This increased capacity of 80,000 daily ridership of the rail line will not only provide a means to decongest our roads but, more important, offer better riding options to our daily commuters. As we improve the public’s general mobility, we also unburden them from traffic worries,” Tugade said.
Representatives from the provincial government of Rizal and cities of Antipolo, Pasig and Marikina also attended the event.
Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Gen. Reynaldo I. Berroya said the project proves that the government “takes solving traffic woes seriously”.
“The completion of the LRT Line 2 East Extension Project is part of the fulfillment of the government’s promise to ease traffic congestion by extending the service of the LRT Line 2 System to the eastern part of Metro Manila,” he added.
The project, which is being implemented by DM Consunji Inc. (DMCI), involves the construction of a 4-kilometer extension of the existing LRT 2 System from Santolan, Pasig City, to Masinag in Antipolo, Rizal.
Two additional stations will be built, namely, the Emerald station, which will be located in front of Robinsons Metro East and Santa Lucia in Cainta; and Rizal and Masinag stations, which will be located before the Masinag Junction in Antipolo City.
It is expected to be completed by August 2018, but will only be operational by April of 2019.
For her part, Rizal Gov. Rebecca Ynares described the additional stations as a “noble project”. “For quite a long time, traffic has always been a problem of our province—that is why we are happy and thankful to see this much-anticipated project in our province become a reality,” she said.
Tugade, likewise, appealed for patience and understanding from the commuting public while the two new stations are being constructed. He mentioned that the construction may cause traffic congestion in the affected areas.
“This will cause a bit of inconvenience. The construction will cause a bit of traffic, but we should get this done,” he said.
30 May 2017
By Lorenz S. Marasigan