Interaksyon, 25 December 2014

By: Darwin G. Amojelar

MANILA – The government plans to auction off next year the project extending the LRT1 all the way to Dasmarinas, Cavite.

Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya last week said the feasibility study for the LRT1 Extension to Dasmarinas is ongoing, adding that the bidding would likely be held next year.

According to the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center, the ongoing study will look into possible private sector participation in the financing, design, and construction of the 15-kilometer rail line from Bacoor to Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Based on the 2010 census, Dasmariñas is the 11th largest city in the country with a population of 575,817.

The government earlier awarded the P64.9 billion LRT1 Cavite Extension Project to Light Rail Manila Consortium, which is a group led by Ayala Corp (AC) and Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC).

Under the concession, Light Rail Manila will assume the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the existing 20-kilometer LRT1, and construct the 11.7-kilometer extension of the rail line southward from the Baclaran station all the way to Bacoor, Cavite.

This entails the construction of 8 new stations, of which 3 shall have intermodal facilities. The 8 new stations after Baclaran will include Aseana, MIA, Asia World, Ninoy Aquino, Dr. Santos, Las Pinas, Zapote, and Niyog. The intermodal facilities shall be located at Dr. Santos, Zapote, and Niyog.

The project will increase the span of LRT1 from 20.7 kilometers to 32.4, and provide commuters from Cavite and other parts of Paranaque and Las Pinas access to central Manila.

The government will acquire the right-of-way for the project, the satellite depot, and procure 120 light rail vehicles that will be financed through a grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Light Rail Manila may begin construction work and take over operations of LRT1 within a year from the signing of the concession agreement or by October 15 next year.

The project should be operational within 54 months or by May 2019.

DOTC said more than 500,000 commuters everyday use LRT1, which runs from Baclaran in Pasay City to Roosevelt in Quezon City. The project will increase the train’s span from 20.7 kilometers to 32.4 kilometers, with approximately 10.5 kilometers of the extension elevated and 1.2 kilometers at grade.

The southern part of Metro Manila and neighboring Cavite province is home to nearly four million people.