Ayala open to 2 LRT-MRT common stations

MANILA, Philippines – Ayala Corporation is open to the idea of two common stations connecting the Light Rail Transit line 1 (LRT1) along Taft Avenue and the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT3) along EDSA.

The Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC) is open to solutions, including the possibility of two common stations for the mentioned rail lines.

“As shareholders of LRMC, we are open to accepting mutually acceptable solutions from the government and other private sector proponents. I think that is something that we can keep an open mind on,” said Ayala Managing Director John Eric Francia.

Francia mentioned the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway where there are two common stations in Admiralty and Central.

“So it’s not uncommon to have two common stations. At the end of the day, it’s the government’s call,” Francia said.

The tandem of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) and conglomerate Ayala Corporation signed with government the concession agreement for the P65-billion ($1.45-billion*) LRT1 Cavite extension project in October.

The consortium of the groups, Light Rail Manila, was the lone bidder for the public-private partnership (PPP) project. The consortium is led by MPIC, with a 55% stake, and Ayala, with 35%. Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte Ltd holds the remaining 10%.

The concession agreement for the LRT1 Cavite extension project is flexible on the issue on the proposed common station, Francia said.

“If they need our input, we’re wiling to cooperate and keep an open mind. To us, at the end of the day, it’s out of our control. We don’t want a never ending argument,” Francia stressed.

To date, the government is in talks with a unit of San Miguel Corporation for the construction of an additional common station linking the northernmost stops of Metro Manila’s railway systems – LRT and MRT.

Apart from the contested common station planned at the TriNoma mall in Quezon City, another one is being considered near its neighboring mall, SM North Edsa, said Transportation Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla.

“The common station is required to be built in North EDSA because MRT7’s end point is there,” Lotilla told Rappler on November 20.

The proposed MRT7 system of San Miguel Corporation stretches from EDSA to Caloocan City, and will pass through Lagro and Fairview, Novaliches, Batasan, Diliman, and Philcoa.

The government has been in hot water for unilaterally scrapping its agreement with SM North EDSA to build the common station there and transferring it to TriNoma. – Rappler.com



*($1 = P44.94)