MANILA, Philippines – Two integrated bus terminals in the southern and southwestern parts of Metro Manila – worth around P6.5 billion ($140.30 million) combined – are set to be opened in 2018, which according to a senator, are keys to the transportation relief Filipinos are looking for.
“We expect to finish the construction and start operations [in] the latter part of 2018 of the two terminals. Medyo po mahuhuli ‘yung north kasi po feasibility study pa po ‘yun sa ngayon (The construction of the north terminal will just follow suit because it is still subject to a feasibility study),” Transportation Undersecretary for Roads and Infrastructure Anne Lontoc said during a Senate hearing on Thursday, August 25, in Pasay City.
According to Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon, these bus terminals will relieve EDSA of 1,642 provincial buses daily. (READ: With emergency powers, lighter Metro Manila traffic by 2019)
The country’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center implemented 3 integrated bus terminals in the northern, southern, and southwestern parts of Metro Manila.
MWM Terminals – the consortium of Megawide Construction Corporation and WM Properties, Incorporated – was awarded the P2.5-billion ($53.96-million) Integrated Transport System (ITS)-Southwest Terminal Project in January 2015.
The ITS-Southwest project will be built on a 4.59-hectare area near the Manila-Cavite Expressway, which will connect passengers coming from Cavite to transport services that serve Metro Manila.
The project will include a passenger terminal building, arrival and departure bays, public information systems, ticketing and baggage handling facilities, and park-ride facilities.
MWM Terminals will operate and maintain the facility for 35 years and then transfer it to the Philippine government.
Bus terminal near FTI
Meanwhile, the P4-billion ($86.34-million) integrated transport hub near the Food Terminal, Incorporated (FTI) grounds in Taguig City was bagged by Ayala Land Incorporated in November 2015.
The Ayala group will build and operate the 5.57-hectare terminal located near its property inside the FTI complex, which it won in a 2012 privatization auction.
The southern bus terminal is seen to connect passengers from the Laguna and Batangas areas to other urban transport systems like the planned North-South Commuter Railway, buses, taxis, and other public utility vehicles that serve inner Metro Manila.
Just like ITS-Southwest, it also includes construction of arrival and departure bays, public information systems, as well as ticketing, baggage, and park-ride facilities.
Bus terminal near Veterans
According to Lontoc, the transportation department also targets to auction off another integrated transport hub inside the 55-hectare Veterans Memorial Medical Center compound in Quezon City.
“We are still awaiting for its feasibility study to be completed,” Lontoc said.
Asked if the department needs emergency powers to implement these projects faster, the transportation official said, “in terms of implementation, we need to dialogue with them on the best way.”
“There should be a rerouting of public transport terms included in the emergency powers, so we can have faster implementation,” Lontoc said.
For Senator Grace Poe, however, these bus terminals will not be the solution to the horrendous EDSA traffic.
“It will help ease the problem, but [it will] not necessarily [solve it]. Remember that public utility vehicle is only comprised of about 27% of the traffic in Metro Manila, while the remaining are private cars. Other projects should be simultaneously implemented like the subway system,” Poe said on the sidelines of the hearing. – Rappler.com
$1 = P46.33
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