MANILA — The Common Station linking the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system is expected to start operating in two to three years after its construction began Friday.
“We want to thank our private sector partners for making the Common Station a reality. They have set aside their private interests for the good of the country,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in his address during the groundbreaking ceremony held in Quezon City.
Tugade said building the Common Station is a manifestation of the government’s commitment to ensure the comfort of commuters.
“We will finish this project for the convenience of the riding public,” he said.
The Common Station will connect the LRT-1, MRT-3, and MRT-7, as well as the proposed Mega Manila Subway System.
The 13,700-square meter station will be built between SM North EDSA and Trinoma with a spacious concourse area that will facilitate the seamless transfer of passengers from one line to another.
Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) President Rogelio Singson described the location as ideal for the expected volume of passengers.
“Passengers of LRT-1, of which LRMC is a shareholder, can now travel from Quezon City to Baclaran in under an hour. And when the extension project is completed, passengers from Cavite may reach Quezon City in an hour,” Singson said.
The Common Station is expected to serve approximately 478,000 passengers daily by 2020.
Ayala Corp. likewise committed to start the construction of the concourse by next month.
“The Common Station will provide safety and convenience to hundreds of thousands of passengers. We are glad to be a step closer to completion and we promise to go full blast with construction,” said Bobby Dy, President and CEO of Ayala Land Inc.
Among those who attended the ceremony were Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Reynaldo Berroya, MRT-3 General Manager Rodolfo Garcia, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Ayala Corp. President and CEO Fernando Zobel de Ayala, and SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SMPHI) President Jeffrey Sy Lim.
It is a joint project of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), SMPHI, San Miguel Corp., LRMC, North Triangle Depot Commercial Corp., Department of Public Works and Highways, and the LRTA.
Last January, a memorandum of agreement was signed by the government, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, SMPH Director Hans T. Sy, Ayala Corp. CEO Jaime Zobel de Ayala, and SMC President and CEO Ramon S. Ang, ending a deadlock spanning nearly eight years.
The government will shell out PHP2.8 billion for the construction of the Common Station’s Area A where the platform and entrance for LRT-1 and MRT-3 will be located.
The station will be financed and built by the DOTr, while its operation, maintenance, and development will be split between LRMC for LRT-1 and DOTr for MRT-3.