Construction of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite extension project may not be completed by 2020, amid the delay in the delivery of right-of-way and procurement of new trains, the consortium that bagged the project said Tuesday.
“It’s likely to be delayed, not just the right-of-way but the question on trains. Jica [Japan for International Cooperation Agency] has to decide whether they will rebid or negotiate it or untie the loan so that it can be sourced from elsewhere. We have no visibility,” said Metro Pacific Investments Corp. president and chief executive Jose Ma. Lim.
Light Rail Manila Consortium of Ayala Corp. and MPIC won the bidding for the 11.7-kilometer Cavite extension project and took over the operation of LRT Line 1 on Sept.12, 2015.
The Transportation Department earlier announced a failed bidding for the P30-billion contract to supply 120 brand-new light rail vehicles for LRT Line 1, as no prospective bidders submitted offers.
The agency earlier identified Marubeni Corp. and Sumitomo Corp. as prospective bidders for the procurement of 120 brand-new LRVs. “What’s the point of spending when you know the trains are not going to come,” Lim said.
Lim said the bigger problem for the project was the relocation of the informal settlers in the area.
“We were supposed to receive the right of way by now. Actually. we were supposed to receive the right of way for phase 1 last year. They had 99-percent of it [ROW] last year, but there are still informal settlers,” Lim said.
LRMC president and chief executive Jesus Francisco earlier said the government aimed to transfer the informal settlers in April and start the construction of the LRT Line 1 Cavite extension project in the second half of 2016.
The 11.7-kilometer Cavite extension will connect into the existing system immediately south of the Baclaran station and run in a generally southerly direction to Niyog, Cavite.
It will consist of elevated guideways throughout most of the alignment, except for the guideway section at Zapote which will be located at grade. It will consist of the satellite depot and new station.
Eight new stations will be provided with three intermodal facilities across Pasay City, Parañaque City, Las Piñas City and Cavite. The new stations are Aseana, MIA, Asia World, Ninoy Aquino, Dr. Santos, Las Pinas, Zapote and Niyog. The intermodal facilities shall be located at Dr. Santos, Zapote and Niyog.
The commercial speed of the Cavite extension will be 60 kilometers an hour. The horizontal alignment shall be designed for a train speed of 80 kph for the mainline track; 60 kph through stations and 30 kph for secondary and depot tracks.
The extended rail line is expected to help increase the capacity of LRT 1 from 500,000 to 800,000 passengers daily and benefit more than four million residents in the southern part of Metro Manila and Cavite.
LRT 1 currently accommodates a daily average of 400,000 commuters from Baclaran in Pasay City to Roosevelt in Quezon City.
Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp. controls 55 percent of the consortium while AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. of Ayala Corp. has 35 percent. Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte Ltd. owns 10 percent.