PPP: DOTC hopes for January signing of second common station deal

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) wants to sign this month the deal for the construction of a second common station near SM City North EDSA, linking the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) and Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1). 

A component of the MRT-7 concession agreement, the unresolved location of the common station is barring proponents from proceeding with the construction of the other parts of the commuter rail system.

In a statement, DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said: “Once MRT-7 and LRT-1 concessionaires sign the second common station agreement, then it will be presented to SM, and we hope this will solve things.”

Last November, the agency said that the MRT-7 concession holder, San Miguel Corp. (SMC)-backed Universal LRT Corp. Ltd. (ULC) had proposed a second common station near SM City as a means of moving forward with the construction of the project. 

“ULC showed us their second common station proposal and we said okay, allow us to present to Light Rail Manila Consortium. Light Rail Manila has some modifications. Instead, MRT-3, LRT-1 will run here. Then we sent it back to ULC. Our interest is to have it fixed, signed and done within January,” said Mr. Abaya.

Signed by Universal LRT in 2008, MRT-7’s 25-year concession calls for the common station to be located near SM City. However, the DOTC decided to transfer the facility nearer to TriNoma Mall of Ayala Land, Inc., adjacent to SM City. 

Design work for the P1.4-billion common station project has been bundled into the LRT-1 Cavite Extension deal, which means that the lack of progress on the common station has the potential to hold up the Cavite Extension on the other end of the line.

Mr. Abaya said that if the second common station would go through, the common station near Ayala’s Trinoma Mall will connect LRT-1 and MRT-3.

He added that ULC, being the project proponent, will handle the cost of the project.