Light Rail Manila Corp., the operator of Light Rail Transit Line 1, said Wednesday it is optimistic the construction of the first section of the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project will be completed by the end of 2021.
“The DOTR is pushing us to finish as early as possible. They requested to finish [the first phase ] by next year. We are coordinating with them. Right now it seems achievable,” LRMC president and chief executive Juan Alfonso told reporters at the sidelines of the launching of LRT-1 Love Train.
Alfonso said the right-of-way acquisition for the Phase 1 was 90-percent completed.
Phase 1 covers 7 kilometers of the 11-kilometer LRT-1 Cavite Extension, including the Redemptorist Station, MIA Station, Asiaworld Station, Ninoy Aquino Station, and Dr. Santos Station.
“The progress is going well,” Alfonso said.
The DOTR earlier said the partial operability of the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project Phase 1 was expected to start by the fourth quarter of 2021.
The remaining stations between Las Piñas and Niog in Bacoor, Cavite are scheduled for fully-operational by 2022.
The project is expected to increase LRT-1’s ridership from 500,000 to 800,000 a day and reduce travel time between Baclaran and Bacoor, Cavite from 1 to 2 hours to only 25 minutes.
MPIC, through Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp., owns 55 percent of Light Rail Manila Consortium which earlier won the bidding for the P64.9-billion LRT1 Cavite Extension, one of the public-private partnership projects of the Aquino administration.
AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. holds a 35-percent stake in LRMC, while Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Inc. owns the remaining 10 percent.
Under the concession, LRMC will assume the operations and maintenance of the existing 20-kilometer LRT1 and construct the 11.7-kilometer extension of the rail line southward from the Baclaran station to Bacoor, Cavite.
Meanwhile, LRMC launched its annual LRT-1 Love Train which now on its fourth year. The theme for this year’s edition is “Love is in the Train” with the three coaches made up to display the different stages of Love.
“We hope that through this special Valentine’s month display, LRMC can make our passengers’ days extra brighter and happier this season,” Alfonso said.