P3-B SWITEx promises southern comfort for commuters
Transport authorities are hoping for an improved commuting experience for those coming from south of Metro Manila, with the country’s “first intermodal transport terminal” expected to be fully operational by April next year.
Tim Orbos, the transport undersecretary for roads, said the Southwest Integrated Terminal Exchange (SWITEx) would provide seamless interconnectivity for about 100,000 commuters daily by serving as a hub not only for buses but also taxis, vans and jeepneys.
Once the Light Rail Transit-1 Extension is completed in 2021, its Asia World station will also be connected to SWITEx, according to Orbos, who on Wednesday inspected the ongoing construction of the facility in a 4-hectare property along Coastal Road, Parañaque City.
Commuters, especially those coming from Cavite and Batangas provinces, can have a more convenient and hassle-free travel experience compared to the time when the Southwest Interim Provincial Terminal (SWIPT) in Pasay City was still in use, he said. SWIPT ceased to operate in May this year.
At present, provincial buses coming from south of the capital park at a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) property at HK Sun Plaza along Roxas Boulevard. They can soon be transferred to SWITEx, Orbos said.
Megawide Construction Corp. (MCC) is developing the facility under a public-private partnership agreement signed in January 2015. Construction started in October last year and is now 40-percent complete.
MCC director Manuel Louie Ferrer said the P3-billion “world-class” terminal will be equipped with an automated ticketing and reservation system, allowing passengers to book their trips online.
2 more hubs
The terminal will also house restaurants and four office buildings, while two of its four levels will be used as parking spaces, Ferrer said.
With only five months left before the opening of SWITEx, Orbos expressed confidence that the construction of two more hubs—the south and north integrated terminals—would follow suit.
The establishment of major transport terminals on the outskirts of Metro Manila was conceptualized in the early years of the Aquino administration.
Orbos was an assistant secretary under the Office of the President when he helped craft the framework for Executive Order No. 67, which called for an integrated transport system. Then President Benigno Aquino III signed the EO in February 2012.
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