Monday, November 16, 2020

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for construction of EDSA Busway bridges with concourse signed

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The Department of Transportation signed today, 16 November 2020, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with SM Prime Holdings, D.M. Wesceslao and Associates Incorporated, and Double Dragon Properties Corporation, for the construction of EDSA Busway bridges with concourse.

The structures, which will be donated by the said private partners, are indispensable components of the new EDSA Busway to further provide safer, more convenient, and PWD (Persons with Disabilities)-friendly walkways for the riding public using the EDSA Busway stations, and for pedestrians crossing EDSA from one side to the other.

To recall, the EDSA Busway -- a system that utilizes a dedicated median lane for Public Utility Buses (PUBs) -- which runs from Monumento in Caloocan City to the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, was established in cooperation with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Since its launch, the EDSA Busway has effectively reduced travel time from the previous 3-3.5 hours from Monumento to PITX, to just 50 minutes to 1 hour.

During the event, Busway Advocate Mr. Eduardo Yap, discussed the features of the EDSA Busway Bridge with Concourse, such as having a state-of-the-art architecture with concierge, ticketing booths, and turnstiles for the Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS). Ramps and elevators will also be available to provide accessibility for PWDs, senior citizens, and pregnant women.

DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade also underscored the benefits of the facilities and expressed gratitude to the government and private sector partners who have greatly contributed to the project's realization.

“Napakaganda ‘ho ng proyekto. With the state-of-the art facility of the EDSA Busway Bridge and Concourse, we will be catering world-class service to the public. ‘Laking ginhawa ‘ho nito sa mga kababayan natin, lalo na sa mga senior citizen, mga may kapansanan, at buntis. Hindi na ‘ho sila mahihirapan mag-akyat-baba sa paggamit ng busway. Malaking bagay din ‘ho ito para siguruhin na ligtas silang makatatawid at makasasakay,” Secretary Tugade said.

“With your help and support, our goal of providing safe, reliable, seamless, and efficient travel for the riding public will further continue. Higit sa lahat, we are making history by changing the system of our public transportation for the better. This will be our legacy for generations to come,” the transportation chief added.

Meanwhile, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim added that the project will significantly improve the travel experience of passengers along the country’s main thoroughfare.

"We believe that the EDSA Busway Bridge and Concourse is crucial for a more seamless EDSA Busway operation. With the construction of the Busway Bridge, we ought to provide an even better experience for commuters with Automated Fare Collection System, PWD ramps, and elevators. We also see that this will encourage increased ridership and commuter satisfaction upon its completion in the coming months on the five (5) target locations."

The EDSA Busway bridges with concourse will be strategically located at the following locations: SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, President D. Macapagal Boulevard in Aseana City, and at EDSA near the corner of President D. Macapagal Avenue.

The project will be shouldered by the DOTr’s private sector partners, who have expressed their full support to the project.

"We, at SM, are delighted to partner with the government in improving the daily commute of every Filipino. We always stand ready to support initiatives that seek to uplift the lives of the community. As part of our commitment, we will ensure that the overhead bridges and pasenger concourses are properly secured and well-maintained for the safety and convenience of all passengers and pedestrians. All these, we will undertake at no additional cost to the government," SM Prime Holdings Inc. President Jeffrey Lim said.

"We thank Secretary Tugade, [Secretary] Villar, and General Lim and all the other cabinet members for all your trailblazing efforts in allowing and partnering with the private sector to create urban mobility infrastructure at no cost to government," DM Wenceslao and Associates President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Delfin Angelo Wenceslao shared.

"We applaud our government agencies for introducing the EDSA Busway project - a highly promising mass transport system, which will hasten the transformation of EDSA into a commuter-friendly thoroughfare," Double Dragon Properties Corporation Assistant to the President Atty. Jay Rashid Ugalingan likewise expressed.

The target start of construction will be within the next 2 to 3 months once the detailed engineering design (DED) is finalized and necessary permits are secured. According to Mr. Yap, construction time is also estimated to run from 6 to 8 months.

Other officials present in the MOA signing were DPWH Assistant Secretary Mel John Versoza who represented DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III, Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) Executive Director Abraham Sales, and MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.

Meanwhile other private sector partners present were SM Supermalls President Steven Tan, Former BSP Governor Amando Tetangco, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President George Barcelon, and Retired Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban.

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