Common station linking MRT, LRT to be built this year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The long-awaited common station linking the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), and the Light Railway Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) is set to begin construction in December — after getting delayed for nearly eight years.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), San Miguel Corporation (SMC), North Triangle Depot Commercial Corporation (NTDCC)-Ayala Corporation, Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI) was signed today as a first step in making the common station a reality.

Present during the event were Metro Pacific Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Manny V. Pangilinan, SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang, Ayala Corp. Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, and SM's Hans Sy

The MOA contains the design parameters for the common station, which will be the basis of the detailed designs that will be developed after the signing.

The common station, which will be located at the North Avenue station of the MRT-3, is getting built under a Public-Private Partnership Project and will cost ₱2.8 billion.

The DOTr says that passenger comfort and ease of transfer is the primary consideration of the project as passengers will only have to walk between 50 to 200 meters to get to their trains using the common station.

Under the MOA, there will be three Areas located in the station:

  • Area A, the platform and concourse for LRT-1 and MRT-3 are located
  • Area B where the two concourses connecting Areas A and C are located
  • Area C where the platform for MRT-7 is located

According to the DOTr,  Area A will be financed and built by the DOTr. The operation, maintenance, and development will be split between LRMC for LRT-1 and DOTr for MRT-3.

Area B will be financed and built by the NTDCC, an affiliate of Ayala Land Inc.  It will also be operated, maintained, and developed by the NTDCC.

Area C will be financed and built by San Miguel, who will also operate, maintain, and develop the area.

In 2009, the government began efforts to build the common station. The location was initially set in front of SM North EDSA, but government officials later relocated the project, saying the project would cost less if it were moved nearer to Trinoma.

In 2014, SM filed a case against then Department of Transportation and Communications. The Supreme Court later issued a Temporary Restraining Order. 

Read: Finally: A common station for LRT, MRT lines

The project has been pending since then, but now, the Duterte administration is again pursuing the project.

The project is set to be completed in April 2019.

CNN Philippines correspondent Makoi Popioco contributed to this report.