THE Transportation department said Monday that the LRT-2 (Light Rail Transit Line 2) East Extension Project is set to be inaugurated by June, while the Common Station project will begin partial operations by the end of the year.

“This year, we will finally be witnessing the completion and the start of operations of two big-ticket projects. First, the LRT-2 East Extension Project, with two additional stations in Marikina and Antipolo, is set for inauguration in June,” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said at the virtual Pre-State of the Nation Address Economic Development and Infrastructure Clusters Forum Monday.

He added: “The second one is the Common Station… After nine years of delay, the construction for the Common Station is now ongoing, and will be partially operable in December 2021.”

The East Extension Project adds four kilometers to the 13.8-kilometer LRT-2 train line, connecting it to Antipolo City.

It aims to reduce the travel time between Manila and Antipolo from three hours to 40 minutes.

The East Extension is expected to add 80,000 passengers to the current 240,000 daily ridership of the LRT-2, which currently connects Recto Avenue in Manila to Santolan station in Marikina.

Meanwhile, the Common Station Project features a 3,700-square meter concourse area, which will interconnect LRT-1, Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3, MRT-7, and Metro Manila Subway.

The Common Station, once operational, is expected to serve about 478,000 commuters daily.

“Please note that the investment poured by this administration in the railways sector under the Build, Build, Build Program is significantly larger than the total railway investments in the last 50 years combined,” Mr. Tugade said. — Arjay L. Balinbin