Tugade: MRT-LRT common station agreement to be signed Sept. 28
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Friday said an agreement for a common station between Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3), Light Rail Transit-1 (LRT-1) and the MRT-7 would be signed by Sept. 28.
During the appropriations committee hearing over the proposed P55.478-billion budget of the Department of Transportation (DoTr) at the House of Representatives, Tugade was asked by Quezon Rep. Danny Suarez about the need to build a common station that was halted during the previous administration because of a temporary restraining order by the Supreme Court.
“We believe railway is an equalizer between rich and poor man… To walk for another 500 meters—where is the concept of mass transit, and level playing field between the rich man and poor man that makes them walk for such long meters?” Suarez said.
Tugade said the department on Thursday met with Ayala Corp. Chairman Jaime Zobel De Ayala, San Miguel Corp. President Ramon Ang, business tycoon Manny Pangilinan, and SM Investment Corp. Vice Chair Teresita Sy-Coson (the eldest daughter of SM magnate Henry Sy) where all agreed to the need of a common station.
“We’ve met separately and collectively with all these stakeholders. In the last meeting done yesterday, with no less than the heads of stakeholders meeting. What we’ve agreed upon, all of them saw the importance of a single station, the difficulty of doing connectivity between MRT and LRT. There’s got to be connectivity. Lahat nag-agree na magkakaroon ng (Everyone agreed to have a) common station. Magpipirmahan (There will be a signing) before the end of this month expressing full conformity on the one single common station concept,” Tugade said.
“Andun si Mr. Zobel, si Mr. Ramon Ang, nandun po si Mr. Pangilinan. Nandun po si Ma’am Tess Coson at kapatid niya (Mr. Zobel, Mr. Ramon Ang, Mr. Pangilinan, Ma’am Tess Coson and her sibling were al there),” he added.
Tugade said the only contention would be whether the common station would have an underpass or overpass.
“On Sept 28, magpupulong (there will be a meeting) to sign the agreement during the time. What is the basic technical issue involved is whether there will be an overpass or underpass. But the connectivity is a given assumption,” Tugade said.
The Supreme Court last May had said the construction of the common station for LRT and MRT could not yet proceed because it has yet to lift the temporary restraining order that halted the construction since July 2014.
The SM Prime Holdings, the complainant, took to the Supreme Court to oppose the transfer of the common station for violating a 2009 memorandum of agreement with LRT-A that the common station should be constructed in front of the SM North Edsa.
The common station will connect three urban transit lines: the LRT 1), the MRT-3 and the MRT-7, which recently broke ground and would run from the common station to Bulacan via Commonwealth Avenue.
Tugade had said as a “common sense” solution, the common station would be built between SM North and Trinoma. RAM
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