Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Construction of Common Station to Start in December 2017

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The construction of the Common Station project is targeted to start by December this year after the Department of Transportation and concerned parties today signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the long-delayed railway project.

The MOA was signed by the DOTr, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., Universal LRT Corporation (BVI) Limited of the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), North Triangle Depot Commercial Corporation (NTDCC), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA). 

Specific signatories as seen in the photo above are (R to L) Bernard Vincent Dy, President and CEO of Ayala Land Inc.; Jeffrey Lim, President of SM Prime Holdings Inc.; Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Vice Chairman of Ayala Land Inc.; Hans Sy, Chairman of SM Prime Holdings; Mark Villar, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary; Arther Tugade, Department of Transportation Secretary; Manny Pangilinan, Vice Chairman of Light Rail Manila Corporation; Ramon Ang, President of San Miguel Corporation; Lorenzo Formos of San Miguel Corporation; Rogelio Singson, President and CEO of Light Rail Manila Corporation; and Ret. Gene. Reynaldo Berroya, Light Rail Transit Authority Administrator.

The MOA contains the design parameters for the Common Station, which will be the basis of the detailed designs that will be developed after the signing.

From Term Sheet to MOA

The MOA is the result of discussions made after the passing of the Term Sheet last 28 September 2016. The Term Sheet outlined the general principles of what was agreed upon, which are the need to move the common station project and identify its location.

Extensive discussions among the parties followed the signing of the Term Sheet which led to their agreement on the design parameters, service level requirements, and the parties’ responsibilities and contributions to the project.

The Location

The location is agreed to be in between the original 2009 location in front of SM Annex and 2014 location near Trinoma mall.

Size and Design

·                        13,700sqm with three essential components:
Area A where the platform and concourse for LRT-1 and MRT-3 are located;
Area B where the two concourses connecting Areas A and C are located;
            Atrium – shorter connection of Area A to Area C
-          48 meters x 50 meters
-          40 thousand passengers per hour capacity

Secondary walkway – longer arm connecting Area A to Area C
-          147 meters x 15 meters
-          40 thousand passengers per hour capacity
Area C where the platform for MRT-7 is located
-          Designed to accommodate an estimated 80,000 passengers per hour
(Please see attached design)


Passenger comfort and ease of transfer

· This is the prime consideration of the project.

· Passengers who will transfer from Area A (Lines 1 and 3) to Area C (Line 7) will have to walk only 50 to 200 meters, depending which end of the train they’re alighting from

· The contract stipulates that the concourse could be expanded depending on future passenger needs

Design Goal

· To connect three main lines LRT-1, MRT-3, and the MRT-7 (North Avenue, Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan)

The Timeline

The target completion for the Common Station is April 2019 as specified in the LRMC and DOTr-LRTA Concession Agreement for LRT1.

The Benefits

The design will also ensure that a defined level of service is maintained at all times by the components of the common station. This allows for future expansion.

· Seamless transfer from one line to another
· Convenient walk for platform transfers
· Bigger space
· Connection to two major malls

The Cost

Area A, PHP 2.8-Billion, will be financed and built by the DOTr. The operation, maintenance, and development will be split between LRMC for LRT-1 and DOTr for MRT-3.

Area B will be financed and built by the NTDCC, an affiliate of Ayala Land Inc. It will also be operated, maintained, and developed by NTDCC.

Area C will be financed and built by San Miguel, who will also operate, maintain, and develop the area.

Why PHP 2.8-Billion?

The DOTr is seeing this as cost of governance for passenger convenience. It is an improved and bigger station with private sector shouldering part of the cost. The initial location was approximately 7,200 sqm, the second location was approximately 2,500 sqm, while the current location is at 13,700 sqm. The size is projected to answer the future demand in passenger traffic.

Various Concerns

The concept design of the Common Station project will be presented to concerned constituents, representatives, and local officials before the final design to incorporate concerns from various sectors.

Effect on Traffic

DOTr assures proper handling and planning of traffic impact of Common Station construction.

Part of the Detailed Engineering Design process will be to put in place a Traffic Management Plan that will be approved by the Metro Manila Council and the i-ACT.

Reaching an Agreement

The Common Station project started in 2009 but went through legal entanglements with the issue of location. The LRTA initially signed a 200-Million deal with SMPHI to build the station in front of SM North EDSA. Five years later, the DOTC decided to build the station near Ayala’s Trinoma mall. SMPHI filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which was granted by the Supreme Court in 2014.

Upon assumption into office, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade vowed to get all shareholders to agree on a single location for the Common Station within his first 100 days. Finally, on 28 September 2016, principal stakeholders who are also the country’s top CEOs signed an agreement identifying a location for the Common Station and decided to build it between SM North and Trinoma, ending an impasse over the seven-year old railway project.

Resolution of SC Case

SMPHI, DOTr, and LRTA will file a joint manifestation with the Supreme Court advising the Court of the MOA to address the issue of the TRO vis-à-vis the Common Station project.

This will allow parties to proceed with the construction of the project.

After the detailed designs are completed by fourth quarter of 2017, an appeal for a dismissal of the case will be filed by all parties, paving the way for the final legal resolution on the Common Station.

Behind the MOA

The DOTr thanks all parties: Tessie Sy-Coson, Hans Sy and Jeffrey Lim of SMPHI, Ramon Ang and Atty. Lorenzo Formoso of SMC, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Bernard Vincent Dy of NTDCC, Manny V. Pangilinan and Rogelio Singson of LRMC, Sec. Mark Villar, Usec. Cathy Cabral, Usec. Karen Jimeno, and Dir. Alex Bote of the DPWH, and LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya for their response to the call of the DOTr to move the project for the sake of the riding public. The DOTr also thanks the technical and legal staff of all the parties that brought this agreement into fruition.

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