THE Southwest Integrated Terminal Exchange (SWITX), an intermodal transport terminal intended to provide connectivity for commuters in the southern parts of Metro Manila, is set to be operational in the second quarter next year, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said.

In a statement, the DoTr said that the P3-billion SWITX project will be completed in April next year and will begin operations in the second quarter.

“As of October 2017, the terminal is already 33.9% complete,” the department said.

SWITX is a public-private partnership project between the government and Megawide Construction Corp. The then-Department of Transportation and Communication awarded Megawide the contract to build, transfer to the government, and operate the transport hub in southern Metro Manila.

The terminal will provide easy access to different modes of public transportation, including train systems, city buses, UV Express services, and jeepneys, and is aimed at reducing the number of public utility vehicles (PUVs) traversing EDSA, and the Baclaran and Taft areas.

The DoTr also said that with the upcoming implementation of its Route Rationalization Plan, only provincial PUVs will be allowed to load and unload in SWITX.

The agency added that the terminal “will have passenger terminal buildings, embarkation and disembarkation bays, staging bays, ticketing and baggage handling facilities, and park-ride facilities.”

Other features will include an online Bus Ticketing System, Ultra-High Frequency tagging for buses for efficient tracking inside the terminal, and Wi-Fi access. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo