MANILA – Construction of the long-awaited Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) finally kicked off on Wednesday morning with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.
The Php69.30-billion project includes the development of a 23-kilometer railway system with 14 stations from North Avenue, Quezon City to San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, passing through Commonwealth Avenue and Quirino Highway in Novaliches.
It is expected to initially accommodate 350,000 daily passengers and shorten travel time from the current 3.5 hours on the road to one hour once completed and operational by its target date in April 2020.
Ultimately, about 800,000 passengers per day – mostly residents from Novaliches, Quezon City and Caloocan City, Bulacan, and neighboring areas in the north are expected to benefit from a faster commute with the completion of the project.
The project also covers the development of an integrated transportation system, which includes the said railway system, a 22-km highway from the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Bocaue interchange, and an intermodal transport terminal (ITT) adjacent to the San Jose del Monte Station.
This way, commuters can take public utility vehicles (PUVs) or private cars and use the new highway from NLEX, alight at the ITT, and board the MRT-7 going to North Avenue, Quezon City.
President Benigno S. Aquino III led the groundbreaking ceremony, together with Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio A. Abaya.
Also present was the president of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the parent company of contractor Universal LRT Corporation (ULC), Ramon Ang.
Abaya welcomed the latest development, noting that the project is not only meant to provide better transport but also decongest traffic in Metro Manila and nearby areas inthe north.
“The long-awaited MRT-7 will serve commuters who ply the heavily-congested Commonwealth Avenue area for work and school on a daily basis,” Abaya said.
“The new railway system will not only significantly lessen travel time along this corridor, but also help decongest traffic in Caloocan and NLEX,” he added.