The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and concessionaire Universal LRT Corp. BVI Limited (ULC) break ground for the construction of Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7), a Php. 69.3 billion public-private partnership transport project on Wednesday.
President Benigno S. Aquino III attended as the guest of honor of the ground breaking ceremony at the Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City and mentioned the benefits of the project.
"'Yung highway magkakaroon ng six lanes. Hindi na kailangan makipagsiksikan. Kapag natapos, maaaring umabot sa 800,000 pasahero kada araw ang kayang isakay ng ating mga tren. 'Di ho ba napakalaking ginhawa nito?," the President said.
San Miguel Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang also attend the event. SMC, through subsidiary San Miguel Holdings Corp., owns 51% of ULC stocks.
"We are finally ready to start construction of MRT-7," Ang said.
"The project is expected to be completed in three to four years," Ang added.
Ang noted, however, that this project, when fully developed, will account for 5 percent of revenues of diversified conglomerate SMC.
"Maliit lang na project ito sa amin," he said.
The DOTC declared in a separate statement that the MRT-7 is expected to be fully completed and operational by 2020.
"The MRT-7 is expected to initially accommodate 350,000 daily passengers and shorten travel time from the current three-and-a-half hours on the road to one hour. Once further upgrades are made, ultimately 800,000 passengers per day will benefit from the project," said DOTC.
The MRT-7 is to have fourteen (14) stations that will include a 22.8-kilometer stretch from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan to North Avenue in Quezon City. It will meet with the MRT-3 that connects EDSA and LRT1, which runs along Taft and Rizal Avenues.
“The long-awaited MRT-7 will serve commuters who ply the heavily congested Commonwealth Avenue area for work and school on a daily basis. The new railway system will not only significantly lessen travel time along this corridor, but also help decongest traffic in Caloocan and NLEX,” DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya said in a separate statement.