MANILA –To generate additional income from the PHP2.8 billion MRT-LRT common station, the value of the projected foot traffic or pedestrian activity through the station can be maximized, a senator said Thursday.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian made this suggestion noting that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) estimate of around 500,000 commuters using the station daily, could make at least PHP182.5 million per year if it bids out the value of foot traffic to be generated from the government undertaking.
“The foot traffic within the station will be an asset of the government because government created it. The income from foot traffic can be used to subsidize the station’s expenses, and therefore cut down train fares. This way, we can add even more value to this project for the general public,” Gatchalian said.
To recall, the DOTr earlier assured the Senate that there will be no fare hike after the MRT-LRT common station is constructed.
Gatchalian pointed out that the foot traffic value can still be included in the contract, which is still under review by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
He also urged the government to be more forward-thinking in future negotiations for contracts with private investors, especially infrastructure projects.
“Government should negotiate better and always look at the maximum benefits that it will get from these partnerships with private businesses,” Gatchalian said.
“Government should always watch out for what would be most advantageous to the public,” he added.
He lamented that the government had already lost potential income from the undertaking because of the eight-year setback suffered due to the legal hurdles.