Subway, bus rapid transit in Metro Manila?

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The proposed subway will connect the cities of Taguig, Makati and Pasay, while the bus rapid transit will run from Manila to Quezon City

TRAFFIC. The Japan International Cooperation Agency says traffic will cost the Philippines up to P6 billion a day by 2030. File photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The government has some more ideas on how to solve Metro Manila’s worsening traffic: a subway and a bus rapid transit (BRT) system.

On Thursday, March 20, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) unveiled major projects that would serve as alternative modes of transportation for commuters.

On top of the list is the P135-billion Mass Transit System, a subway or underground rail system that would extend the existing Metro Rail Transit or MRT Line 3. MRT 3 runs from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.

DOTC Assistant Secretary Jaime Feliciano said the 20-kilometer subway would consist of 11 stations: 5 underground, 4 interchanges and 2 elevated. He added it would connect Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, the Makati central business district, and the Mall of Asia area in Pasay.

Feliciano said DOTC would forward the project to the National Economic and Development Authority for approval in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of the year. The government would bid it out in the 2nd quarter of 2015.

DOTC is also putting up a 28-km BRT worth P4.65 billion. The BRT system would run from the Manila City Hall to Fairview in Quezon City, passing through Commonwealth Avenue.

The government has been looking for ways to ease traffic along Metro Manila roads to cut on economic losses. It is developing an Integrated Terminal System that would lessen buses plying EDSA and other metro thoroughfares. It is also reviving the Pasig ferry services to encourage commuters to take alternative routes.

A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency showed the Philippines stands to lose up to P6 billion a day by 2030 due to traffic congestion.

Other rail projects

Aside from the subway system, DOTC also eyes to bid out the proposed P284-billion North-South Commuter Rail stretching 89.7 kms from Malolos, Bulacan to Calamba, Laguna. The rail could be extended to the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.

Another rail project is the P271-billion Integrated Luzon Railway stretching 900 kms from Sorsogon in Bicol to Tuguegarao in Cagayan.

DOTC is set to bid out the operation and maintenance of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 2, which is being extended all the way to Masinag in Antipolo.

It is in the process of bidding out the P65-billion LRT 1 extension to Bacoor in Cavite. The agency is considering extending LRT Line 1 further to Dasmariñas. –

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