Tuesday, September 27, 2016
LRT, MRT Common Station Now A Go After 7 Year Deadlock
The seven-year deadlock is finally over.
After years of legal entanglements, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has inked a consensus among shareholders to identify a single location of the Common Station, which will connect the three urban transit lines: LRT Line 1, MRT-3, and the proposed MRT-7, which will run from North Avenue to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
The Common Station, which will be built between SM North EDSA and Trinoma with access to both malls and major roads such as EDSA, will provide a common concourse or atrium wherein train commuters can conveniently transfer from one line to another.
An agreement between the DOTr, Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI), Universal LRT Corp. (ULC) and Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC), North Triangle Depot Commercial Corporation represented by Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be signed tomorrow, Sept 28 to finalize the agreement.
The DPWH also assured that the underpass being built will seamlessly integrate with the Common Station.
Resolving the dispute
Getting all parties to agree is among DOTr’s Secretary Arthur Tugade targets within the first 100 days, and it involved engaging all stakeholders in meetings in order to reach a consensus. In a meeting last Sept. 8, the country’s top CEOs: SM’s Tessie Sy Coson and Hans Sy, Ayala’s Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, San Miguel’s Ramon Ang, and Metro Pacific’s Manny Pangilinan agreed that a unified station is necessary to make commuting more convenient to the public.
The Common Station project started in 2009 and has been on hold due to legal issues. The LRT Authority inked a deal with SMPHI to build the station near SM North EDSA. Five years later, the DOTC decided to build the Station near Ayala’s Trinoma citing reasons to cut costs. The Supreme Court (SC) intervened and issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in favor of SMPHI to stop the construction of the Common Station.
The agreement to be signed tomorrow will pave the way for a filing of a joint motion to the SC to lift the TRO.