Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipinos loved to travel, go out, and meet with loved ones. However, this often doesn’t go without the hassle of public transportation in the country— you have ~fight~ your way on the street just to get a seat on the bus or jeep, or wait for hours just to get a cab.
But if there’s one major issue that most Filipino commuters have to endure on a daily, it would be the frequent malfunctioning of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 or MRT-3. Commuters would opt to ride the MRT-3 to get to their destination faster, but there were times when it would be the ‘slower’ option because it would overheat or lose power, forcing riders to get off and find another way to travel. (Read: Here’s a List of PH Tourist Destinations Now Open to Travelers)
The transportation department has definitely taken notice of this and has ordered various improvements to the MRT-3. But aside from improving their service, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has also finally ordered the construction of a new MRT line to accommodate the needs of more commuters.
Connecting Metro Manila and Bulacan
Construction of the new MRT, called the MRT-7, was started by the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) in 2017— 13 years after its initial proposal was approved. And now, the railway system that will connect Bulacan, Caloocan, and Quezon City through 14 different stations is already 54 percent done!
“We have already completed a significant amount of civil works, including the installation of bored piles, girders, foundational works on stations, and we have been installing rails or tracks. At the same time, E&M works have also advanced significantly,” says SMC President Ramon Ang. (WATCH: DOT Gives Tips for Safe Travels in Breathtaking Video Ad)
He adds that the MRT-7 project is more complex because of all the mechanical and electrical work it entails to ensure passengers’ safety, but adds that the construction is continuing at a steady pace.
Continuing Amid the Pandemic
“Now that we’ve crossed the halfway mark, we’re expecting to reach a lot of major milestones for this project this year. This includes the construction of the stations, testing of various equipment in different countries, and the actual arrival of these equipment, including the first batch of trains,” Ang explains.
He also reveals that in April, a number of trains will be subject to testing, and if all goes well, these trains will arrive in the country this year. (Read: Pasig River Clean-Up to Roll Out as Part of New Expressway Project)
Ang says that with the progress the construction is achieving even during the pandemic, they are looking at December 2022 for the opening of the MRT-7.
“By then, I believe we would be recovering already from the impacts of COVID-19. Our economy will be on the way up, and people will be resuming their lives in the next normal,” he states.
“MRT-7 will be ready for them, to help make commutes faster, to boost our economy, and bring growth to more areas.”