One of the major transport projects being anticipated for completion is the Metro Rail Transit 7 or MRT-7 rapid transit line, connecting Metro Manila and the province of Bulacan. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has reiterated its commitment to make the rail line operational by next year.
The DOTr wants the MRT-7 to commence operations before 2022 ends
In his official Facebook page, Transport Secretary Art Tugade reports that construction on the MRT-7 is currently in full swing, despite the constraints brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. From being 55 percent complete as of April 2021, the MRT-7 is now more than 60 percent finished, according to Tugade.
Costing an estimated Php 62.7 billion, MRT-7 runs in a northeast-southwest direction, between San Jose del Monte in Bulacan and the North Triangle Common Station located in North Avenue, Quezon City. The line comprises 14 stations, 10 of which are elevated, with a total length of 22.8 kilometers. Rolling stock will comprise 108 rail cars supplied by Hyundai Rotem, and all have undergone test runs in South Korea.
Travel time is expected to be significantly reduced for up to 850,000 passengers daily
Once completed, the railway is targeting trial runs on five of its stations without passengers by April 2022. If all goes well, MRT-7 will be on track to open for public use by the fourth quarter of 2022. The DOTr projects the rail line to ferry between 300,000 and 850,000 passengers on a daily basis, reducing travel time from Quezon City to Bulacan and vice versa from the current 3 hours to just 35 minutes.
Further extension projects are also planned to complement the main railway. San Miguel Corporation (SMC), which is funding the construction, will extend the line further to Bocaue, Bulacan. It will also be connected to the New Manila International Airport by way of an additional 30.3 km of railway.
Plans are for further expansion are in place
A 13.9-km spur line is also in the works, putting eight additional stations eastward that will connect the MRT-7 to the Light Rail Transit 2 (LRT-2) stations in Katipunan and Marikina.
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo