LIGHT RAIL Manila Corp. (LRMC), operator of Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), said 90% of the right of way for the Phase 1 of the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project has been acquired.

“We have over about 90-plus percent of the right of way resolved, and we are confident that as we build the system, the right of way will be delivered on time,” LRMC President and Chief Executive Officer Juan F. Alfonso told reporters, referring to Phase 1 of the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project, on the sidelines of the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the LRT-1 EDSA Station Expansion Project in Pasay City on Monday.

The P64.9-billion LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project, a public-private partnership (PPP) venture which the National Economic and Development Authority Board first approved in November 2013, aims to add an 11.7-kilometer Baclaran-Bacoor, Cavite segment to the existing 18.1-kilometer train line. The new stretch will have eight stations.

The first phase of the extension consists of a 7 km stretch with five stations between the Redemptorist Church area in Baclaran and Dr. Santos Ave. in Parañaque. Mr. Alfonso said piling works for the first phase are “continuing,” confirming partial operability by the “end of 2021.”

The remaining stations between Las Piñas and Niog in Bacoor, Cavite are scheduled for completion in 2022.

Once LRT-1’s Cavite extension opens to the public, the Department of Transportation expects daily ridership along the entire line to increase to 800,000 passengers from 500,000 currently, and travel time Baclaran-Bacoor travel time to be cut to 25 minutes from up to two hours currently.

In a news statement on Monday, the LRMC said the expanded EDSA Station of the LRT-1 now includes new ticket booths, comfort rooms, LED lights, interior paint jobs, floor finishes and a ramp for the disabled.

“The connecting bridge also comes with a new roofing system and architectural finishes, while the southeast leg of the station gets a new fire exit and a wider space, with the demolition of old ticket booths,” it added.

It said the EDSA Station expansion is being undertaken in conjunction with the LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project as well as ongoing modernization “to increase efficiency, safety, environmental friendliness, commuter friendliness, train capacity and quality.”

The EDSA Station, which serves more than 52,000 passengers daily on weekdays, is the LRT-1’s second busiest stop.

LRMC is the joint venture of Ayala Corp., Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp. and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd. It holds the P65-billion, 32-year PPP contract to operate LRT-1 and build its extension to Cavite.

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