‘Common LRT-MRT station could cause public inconvenience’
A former government official said the common station for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) could inconvenience the public.
“A common station should ideally be the convergence point of several lines,” former Undersecretary for Rail Charlie Borromeo said.
He said “the ideal scenario is one where passengers can take a seamless ride and just transfer from platform to platform” where passengers would only have to transfer from platform to platform not where commuters would have to jump from mall to mall and walk a distance of at least 200 meters before being able to switch trains.
Borromeo, who was also a Commissioner of the San Francisco County Transport Authority, urged the Department of Transportation to review the original plan for passenger transfer where the MRT-3 would extend to Monumento to meet the LRT-1 at Caloocan to allow passengers coming from the north or the CAMANAVA area (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) a seamless ride, whether to Taft Avenue or the central business districts such as Ortigas or Makati.
Currently, passengers from the Camanava area get off at the LRT-1 Roosevelt station and need to ride a bus to North Avenue in order to ride the MRT-3 to Makati. Some commuters, therefore, opt to ride the bus which goes from Monumento straight to the central business districts, rather than change transport modes in between trips, especially when it is raining.
With the original plan, Borromeo explained, where the MRT-3 would be extended to Monumento, passengers from the Camanava area would be able to reach the central business districts of Metro Manila such as Makati and Ortigas via the MRT-3 without transferring from one line to the another.
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Passengers would also no longer have to walk at least 200 meters through a mall, as would be the case in Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade’s proposed common station just to switch trains.
He added that in terms of practicality, “if you want to fast track (train connectivity) and have immediate action, from a practical point of view, the ideal scenario is to go back to the original plan for the light rails. Considering time practicality, a line (to extend MRT-3 to LRT-1) already exists. Considering cost practicality, the station that will be built is relatively a smaller station and there will be no cost to government.”
Another benefit of going back to the original plan is that this would allow commuters to link to the Philippine National Rail (PNR).
“If we go back to the original plan, MRT-3, because it would be extended to Monumento, would be able to connect to Samson Road going to the PNR station. The reason why it does not connect now is because the alignment from MRT-3 to PNR was cut when the LRT-1 was made to go to Balintawak, effectively disconnecting the extension of MRT-3 to the PNR site. Going back to the original plan resolves this. It is really the ideal scenario.” CDG
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