THE LIGHT Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) on Monday announced that it has started working on the extension of the LRT-2 System to Tutuban, Divisoria, and Pier 4. “Mas magiging madali na ang biyahe ng mga gustong pumunta para mamili sa Tutuban at Divisoria, o mga sasakay sa barko sa Pier 4 ng North Harbor (Travel will soon be easier for those who wish to go shopping at Tutuban and Divisoria, or those who will take boats at the North Harbor),” LRTA Administrator Reynaldo I. Berroya said in a statement. Once the project is completed, LRTA said travel time from Recto station to Pier 4 will only take five minutes while the journey from Masinag station to Pier 4 will not exceed an hour. The government targets to finish by 2023 the P10.1-billion, five-kilometer West Extension Project, which is part of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program. “Currently, the LRT-2 System which traverses the East-West routes with terminal stations at Santolan in Pasig and Recto in Manila, moves about 240,000 passengers daily. Upon completion, this number is projected to add 16,000 more passengers each day,” LRTA said. Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said last week that he is open to proposals to privatize the LRT-2, which had to be partially shut down after a fire damaged the rail line’s power system. The LRTA has estimated that at least P430 million is needed to fix the damage. — Arjay L. Balinbin