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Train cars for LRT-1 Cavite extension starting to arrive

THE Transportation department said Tuesday that it took delivery of the first batch of train cars from Spain and Mexico for use of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite extension.

“This means that after 19 long years of waiting, the LRT-1 Cavite extension is finally turning into reality,” the department said in a statement.

Japan, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, funded the manufacture of the 120 fourth-generation light rail vehicles.

The train cars will be provided to the LRT-1, with Mitsubishi Corp. as the implementing contractor, the Embassy of Japan in Manila said in a separate statement.

Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), the private operator of LRT-1, said Spanish rail equipment manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles started the production of the train cars in Spain and Mexico in 2019, after winning a tender conducted by the Transportation department.

“The train sets will arrive in batches, with at least one train set arriving every month until May 2022,” the company noted.

The Transportation department said on Jan. 18 that the LRT-1 Cavite extension project was 51.61% complete as of Dec. 31.

It also said the Cavite extension is expected to start partial operations by the end of 2021.

The P64.9-billion LRT-1 Cavite extension project, a public-private partnership venture that the National Economic and Development Authority board approved in November 2013, aims to add an 11.7-kilometer Baclaran-Bacoor, Cavite segment to the current 18.1-kilometer train line. The new stretch will have eight stations.

The first phase of the extension consists of a seven-kilometer segment with five stations between the Redemptorist Church area in Baclaran and Dr. Santos Ave. in Parañaque.

The remaining three stations are scheduled for completion in 2022.

Once LRT-1’s Cavite extension opens to the public, the DoTr expects daily ridership along the entire line to increase to 800,000 passengers from 500,000, and Baclaran-Bacoor travel time to be cut to 25 minutes from up to two hours.

LRMC is the joint venture of Ayala Corp., Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp. and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd. It holds the P65 billion, 32-year PPP contract to operate LRT-1 and build its extension to Cavite.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is one of three Philippine subsidiaries of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., maintains an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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