Mayor Abigail Binay on Monday assured that the Public Rail Transport in the City of Makati will generate 6,000 jobs and new economic opportunities for residents once this subway system project is completed as planned in 2023.
The subway system, the first of its kind in the country, is a joint venture of the city government and a consortium of local and foreign investors, with no cash out on the part of the city.
The 30-year concession with the consortium includes maintenance and repair of the coaches and the control hub.
“The project will create around 6,000 new jobs for Makatizens and numerous economic opportunities just for the construction and operation of the train system alone. This does not include additional jobs which will be created as a result of the efficient transport system in the city,” Binay said.
The city chief executive expressed her full commitment to the project’s completion within five years, which she envisioned to be her lasting legacy to the people of Makati.
“I want this to be my legacy. It is time for a better and brighter future for everyone in Makati. I want the city to be truly livable, sustainable, inclusive, and resilient not just today but for the generations to come,” said Binay.
Binay also assured the public that the five-year construction period will not have adverse effects on traffic within Makati. This, she said, is one of the advantages of constructing a subway system. Since most of the work is done in tunnels underground, the disruption to daily traffic will be minimal.
“In just five years, Makati City, and the rest of the country will reap the benefits of having a reliable and efficient mass transport system. We are laying the groundwork for more advanced infrastructure and projects so our children can continue to be proud of the city they live in,” she emphasized.
The PRT system, which is scheduled to break ground before the end of the year, will have two tracks, up to 10 underground stations, and air-conditioned coaches which can accommodate 200 persons per car.
The entire system spans 10 kilometers with a train yard, maintenance depot, and central command center at ground level.
The stations will have at least 30 station entrances linked to destinations across Makati, which will spur the growth of small and medium businesses.
It will also be linked to ferry transport, interchanges to the existing MRT 3 line, as well as potential links to the future Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded Metro Manila subway, and to future parking structures and transport feeders outside the existing business districts.
Once completed, the PRT will be able to service up to 27,000 passengers per hour per direction. The system also promises an interval of three to six minutes between trains on the first year, with 12 operational trains.
By 2024, Makati City is eyeing to have 18 trains with a two- to four-minute interval. The City is also prepared to accommodate as many as 40,500 passengers per hour during peak hours. The train system will run on an 18-hour operational cycle.
Binay stressed that the PRT will leave cumulative positive impacts, not only in Makati but in neighboring cities as well. Current statistics estimate that there are five million employees in Makati during work days.
Since there are only around 500,000 city residents, this would mean millions of commuters and drivers entering the city every day.
The PRT will not only decongest major thoroughfares, but it is also expected to increase work productivity by cutting down the daily commute or travel time of workers.
According to JICA’s congestion valuations, the Philippines will gain at least US$600 million annually in GDP just for enhanced productivity.
Interestingly, the project will allow for an additional 320,000 residents in Makati City.
Besides enjoying a walkable city with considerably less pollution, residents will also enjoy 20 percent higher land values because of the new transport system. The figure was based on the experience of other Asian cities like Bangkok and Hong Kong.
More importantly, a reliable, comfortable, and highly-efficient mass transport system will result in less traffic congestion and parking woes in the country’s premier financial district. Feasibility studies project 270,000 fewer cars in the streets of Makati by 2048.
This makes the PRT a more eco-friendly and sustainable solution as well, with a projected reduction of 2.3 million tons of CO2 annually in greenhouse gas emission by 2048.
In pushing for the subway project, Mayor Binay cited Hong Kong’s MTR system which was introduced in 1979. It helped usher in a period of unprecedented urban mobility and economic growth. Now, 90 percent of Hong Kong residents and workers commute without a car, translating into more hours a day for business and family.
The MTR also makes US$7 billion and serves 1.7 billion riders. The system is so successful that they advise and manage rail systems in countries around the world.
On the other hand, Bangkok’s subway system was launched in 2004 and now serves 100 million riders per year across 35 stations. Mayor Abby noted that like the Bangkok line, Makati’s PRT will be operational even during floods.
Binay also pointed out that other cities like Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, and Jakarta are now experiencing less congestion in their financial centers after a mass transport system has been introduced.