The Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) will start operations by April 2022, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Arthur Tugade, secretary of DOTr, said in an interview with Inquirer that operations will remain continuous starting April next year and that the trains have already arrived.
The P63-billion infrastructure project began construction in April 2016. When completed, it will connect North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan, accommodating up to 850,000 passengers daily and slashing travel time between the two cities from four hours to 35 minutes.
It is one of the biggest infrastructure projects headed by San Miguel Corp. (SMC), after the P735-billion New Manila International Airport in Bulacan.
Last September 7th, the first two train sets or a total of six train cars for the project arrived from South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem Company, as reported by Rappler. SMC said it expects the delivery of the remaining 108 coaches to arrive in the next few months.
Tugade told Manila Bulletin that construction was already underway by June of last year despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic, with over 60.93 percent of the structure complete by July.
Ramon S. Ang, president of SMC, spoke to Inquirer and said that the MRT-7 project is a more difficult and complex project than the recently-completed Skyway Stage 3, which in itself is an engineering feat.
He cites the complexities in building the MRT-7 system, such as computer and communication networks, electric power systems, signaling systems, and automatic fare systems, among many others.
Other large infrastructure projects in the pipeline
Tugade also noted that the Common Station in North Avenue, Quezon City, will be completed by December of this year.
The Common Station, also known as the Unified Grand Central Station, will connect MRT-7, MRT-3, the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), LRT-2, and the highly anticipated Metro Manila Subway. It will rise on the corner of North Avenue in Quezon City and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) and accommodate over 478,000 commuters daily.
Both the MRT-7 and the Common Station are some of the infrastructure projects being built as part of the government’s efforts to decongest Metro Manila and improve mobility for commuters in the metro, particularly along the main transit routes.
Another notable transportation project under construction is the Metro Manila Subway, a 36-kilometer underground subway that will connect Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay. This rapid transit line is predicted to slash travel time between the two locations to 45 minutes from 1 hour, and serve nearly 370,000 passengers daily.
Other infrastructure projects in the pipeline include the Philippine National Railways (PNR) North 2 railway line project, also known as the North-South Commuter Railway which will see the train line refurbished and overhauled. When completed, it will link Manila and Clark International Airport, shuttling over 350,000 passengers every day.
Spurring interest in transit-oriented developments
The expansion of transportation developments across Metro Manila has led to an interest in transit-oriented developments, especially as the metro experiences a worsening traffic situation. The demand for these communities may only increase as commuting returns to pre-pandemic levels, with many workers returning to physical work spaces.
Lamudi’s recent trend report anticipates these developments, noting a healthy demand for rental properties near mass transportation terminals, with data revealing a surge in leads and searches for properties near Metro Manila Subway locations, which are known for experiencing heavy foot traffic.
Bonifacio Global City, Ortigas City, Bicutan, and Quezon Avenue are just some of the cities with proposed Metro Manila Subway stations that have experienced a jump in interest on the platform.
The trend report also observed that property seekers are prioritizing mobility above all else, which will intensify as lockdown restrictions are lifted and commuters return to the office. With accelerated vaccination roll-outs and an increasing number of fully vaccinated individuals, the return to physical work spaces is even more imminent.
Article and Photo originally posted by Lamudi last October 7, 2021.